Conductor: Jiři Stárek
Orchestra: SWR Rundfunkorchester Kaiserslautern
Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, novelist, and twice prime minister of England, died on this day in 1881. When he was buried in the family vault at Hughenden Manor, near High Wycombe, Queen Victoria came to lay a wreath ofprimroses—thought to be his favorite flower—on his grave. Two years later, the Primrose League was formed to support the principles of Conservatism that Disraeli had championed. The organization’s influence ebbed after World War I, but Primrose Day is remembered in honor of Disraeli and his contribution to the Conservative cause. More… Discuss
When hostilities between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly, an archipelago located off the southwest coast of England, ended, the warring parties recalled their troops, and the conflict was forgotten. Without a treaty declaring its end, however, the 1651 war peacefully became the world’s longest, technically lasting 335 years. Despite questions regarding the validity of the declaration of war, peace was officially declared in 1986. What 45-minute war is considered the world’s shortest? More… Discuss
Work: Minuetto Pastorale
Orchestra: The Philharmonia
Conductor: Francesco d’Avalos
The Grand National is the world-famous steeplechase run at the Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, England. It was started in 1839 by William Lynn, owner of the Waterloo Hotel in Liverpool, as a means of attracting hotel patrons. The course is four and one-half miles long and has 16 bush fences, of which 14 are jumped twice. The race is limited now to 40 starters; horses have to qualify by winning three other set races in England, although any horse that wins the Maryland Hunt Cup is automatically eligible to run. Only men could ride originally, but today women are eligible as well. More… Discuss
Daylight saving time (DST) is the system of advancing clocks forward one hour near the start of spring to increase “usable” hours of daylight in the afternoon. Though Benjamin Franklin proposed the idea in 1784, DST was not widely adopted until World War I. It was first used in Western European countries like Germany and England, and Newfoundland became one of the first North American jurisdictions to adopt DST in 1917. The US followed suit a year later. Which two US states do not observe DST? More… Discuss
Cranmer was the archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of the English kings Henry VIII and Edward VI. He promoted and proclaimed Henry‘s various marriages and divorces according to the king’s will and endorsed the translation of the Bible into English. Though limited under Henry, Cranmer shaped the doctrinal and liturgical transformation of the Church of England during Edward’s reign and was responsible for much of the first Book of Common Prayer. Why was Cranmer burned at the stake? More… Discuss
The common idea that success spoils people by making them vain, egotistic, and self-complacent is erroneous; on the contrary, it makes them, for the most part, humble, tolerant, and kind. Failure makes people cruel and bitter.
Over the centuries, many nations have fought over, won, and lost the African country of Tunisia. It was under Ottoman rule from 1574 until the late 19th century, when France, England, and Italy contended for it. France emerged the victor. In 1955, it granted Tunisia complete internal self-government. Full independence came in 1956. A year later, the monarchy was abolished and Tunisia became a republic. Prior to the 2011 revolution, how many presidents had Tunisia had since gaining independence? More… Discuss
St. Gregory, a sixth-century monk who became pope, is also the patron saint of schoolchildren and scholars. In Belgium, schoolchildren rise early on March 12 and parade through the streets dressed as “little soldiers of St. Gregory.” They carry a big basket for gifts and are accompanied by a noisy drummer. The young girls in the procession wear big shoulder bows that resemble the wings of a butterfly. They march from house to house, pausing at each door to sing a song and to ask for treats, and the procession always includes a group of angels. More… Discuss
At just 15 years of age, Ellen Turner, the eligible daughter of a wealthy English mill owner, caught the attention of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Following his wife’s death, he hatched a plan to kidnap and marry Turner, thereby gaining access to her sizeable inheritance. After convincing the mistresses at Turner’s boarding school that her father had sent for her, Wakefield abducted the young girl and married her. Turner’s family, however, soon had him arrested. What became of Wakefield? More… Discuss
|Definition:||(adjective) Being in agreement: harmonious.|
|Synonyms:||accordant, agreeable, consonant, conformable|
|Usage:||No one was surprised that the candidate’s views were concordant with those of the outgoing mayor, as the mayor had long been his mentor. Discuss.|
Feastday: February 20
1080 – 1154
Wulfric (d. 1154) + hermit and miracle worker. Born at Compton Martin, near Bristol, England, he became a priest and was excessively materialistic and worldly. After meeting with a beggar, he underwent a personal conversion and became a hermit at Haselbury; Somerset, England. For his remaining years, he devoted himself to rigorous austerities and was known for his miracles and prophecies. While he was never formally canonized, Wulfric was a very popular saint during the Middle Ages, and histomb was visited by many pilgrims. Feast day: February 20.
A tragic figure in English history, Lady Jane Grey was a pretty, intelligent young girl whose life was cut short due to the political machinations of those closest to her. When she was just 15, she was wed to the son of a duke. Her father-in-law then persuaded the dying King Edward VI, still a boy himself, to name Lady Jane his successor. She reigned for just nine days before stepping down. Though she was convicted of high treason, she might never have been executed had her father not done what? More… Discuss
In February 1855, the Devil, perhaps consumed with wanderlust, apparently took a 40- to 100-mile stroll across Devon, England. His outing might have passed unnoticed, except that it was snowing heavily at the time. When residents awoke, they were dismayed to find unusual cloven hoofprints all over the place—not just on the ground but also on obstacles like walls and even roofs. Of course, it is possible that something other than the Prince of Darkness made these tracks. What are some theories? More… Discuss
Adventurer Account, by George-B
I have been walking Northbound
until there was no mere North to go to
and then I took the opposite direction,
found myself upside down hanging by
the branches of the Southern tree…
I was by exhausted,
So I took a long rest
I started west, and kept at it, for a while
and then I hit a bump in the road
and had to heal my foot…
Then I considered continuing my walk
Late that year I draw a conclusion
and build a house of red bricks,
a picket fence
a kidney bean pool
a tennis court
a trail with 5 flights of stairs, wooden,
to the sandy beach.
During World War I, a chemical factory in the highly populated area of Silvertown, England, was used to purify TNT in order to meet the urgent demand for explosive shells. Although a newer, safer plant was built elsewhere, production continued at the factory until a fire ignited 50 tons of TNT in 1917. The explosion killed 73 people, injured hundreds more, and destroyed the plant, many nearby buildings, and a gasholder—sparking an enormous fireball. To what is the low death toll attributed? More… Discuss
The feast day of King Canute (or Knut), who ruled Denmark, England, and Norway in the 11th century, marks the end of the Yuletide season in Sweden. Rather than letting the holidays fade quietly, Swedish families throughout the country hold parties to celebrate the final lighting (and subsequent dismantling) of the Christmas tree. After letting the children eat the cookies and candies used to decorate the tree, and after packing the ornaments away in their boxes, it is customary to hurl the tree through an open window. More…
The maypole is the center of activity during the celebration of May Day. The tall wooden pole is often decorated with flowers, greenery, and streamers. Dancers hold the loose ends of the streamers and weave intricate patterns as they encircle the pole and pass each other in dance. May Day festivities also include a May king and queen and people carrying garlands. The maypole probably originated in ancient fertility rites, but its symbolism has long been debated. What are some interpretations? More…Discuss
|Author||John Croke (translator)|
|Title||Psalms in English verse (girdle book)|
|Origin||England, S. E. (London)|
|Decoration||1 miniature of Henry VIII, in colours and gold (f. 1v). Small initials plain in silver on red grounds or in gold on blue grounds.|
|Dimensions in mm||40 x 30 (30 x 20)|
|Official foliation||ff. 104 (+ 1 original parchment double-leaf, glued together, at the beginning, and 1 at the end)|
|Binding||Pre-1600. Original worked gilt covers (metalwork) with clasp and girdle loops.|
|Provenance||? Anne Boleyn (born c. 1500, d. 1536), queen of England, second consort of Henry VIII: The volume corresponds with one described in George Wyat, Extracts from the Life of Queen Anne Boleigne: Written at the close of the XVIth century, and now first printed (London: [privately printed], 1817), p. 29; Wyat notes that it was traditionally said to have been given by Anne Boleyn, when on the scaffold, to one of her maids of honour, a lady of the family of Wyat.
? George Wyat, 1817: see above, where he states that the described volume is in his possession.
Richard Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1776, d. 1839), 1st duke of Buckingham and Chandos, of Stowe House, near Buckingham: inscribed with the press-mark ‘Appendix in vol. 1 … no. 27′ (f. ), corresponding to his catalogue (O’Conor 1818-1819).
Richard Plantagenet Temple-Nugent-Brydges-Chandos-Grenville (b. 1797, d. 1861), 2nd duke of Buckingham and Chandos; sold in 1849 to Lord Ashburnham.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1797, d. 1878), 4th earl of Ashburnham, of Ashburnham Place, Sussex.
Bertram Ashburnham (b. 1840, d. 1913), 5th earl of Ashburnham: purchased by the British Museum from him together with 1084 other Stowe manuscripts in 1883.
“Here We Come A-wassailing” (or Here We Come A-caroling) is an English traditional Christmas carol and New Years song, apparently composed c. 1850. The old English wassail song refers to ‘wassailing’, or singing carols door to door wishing good health, while the a- is an archaic intensifying prefix; compare A-Hunting We Will Go and lyrics to The Twelve Days of Christmas (e.g., “Six geese a-laying”). According to Readers Digest; “the Christmas spirit often made the rich a little more generous than usual, and bands of beggars and orphans used to dance their way through the snowy streets of England, offering to sing good cheer and to tell good fortune if the householder would give them a drink from his wassail bowl or a penny or a pork pie or, let them stand for a few minutes beside the warmth of his hearth. The wassail bowl itself was a hearty combination of hot ale or beer, apples, spices and mead, just alcoholic enough to warm tingling toes and fingers of the singers”.
“O Tannenbaum”, or, in its English version, “O Christmas Tree“, is a Christmas carol of German origin. A Tannenbaum is a fir tree (German: die Tanne) or Christmas tree (der Weihnachtsbaum). Its evergreen qualities have long inspired musicians to write several “Tannenbaum” songs in German. The melody is an old folk tune (Lauriger Horatius). The first known “Tannenbaum” song lyrics date back to 1550.
“I Saw Three Ships” (Come Sailing In) is a traditional and popular Christmas carol from England. A variant of its parent tune “Greensleeves”, the earliest printed version of “I Saw Three Ships” is from the 17th century, possibly Derbyshire, and was also published by William B. Sandys in 1833. The lyrics mention the ships sailing into Bethlehem, but the nearest body of water is the Dead Sea about 20 miles away. The reference to three ships is thought to originate in the three ships that bore the purported relics of the Biblical magi to Cologne Cathedral in the 12th century.
The tea trade in the 1860s and 70s was intensely competitive, with merchant ships racing to be the first to arrive in London with that year’s crop from China. It was for this purpose that the three-masted clipper Cutty Sarkwas originally built. She became one of the swiftest and most celebrated British clippers, but within a few years of her launch, steamships had largely supplanted clippers in the tea trade, so she began carrying other cargos. What is the origin and meaning of her name? More… Discuss
Raleigh was an English explorer, courtier, and favorite of Queen Elizabeth I, whom he famously—according to the story—protected from a puddle by laying down his cloak. After King James I took the throne, however, Raleigh was accused of plotting against the king, was arrested, and lost many of his offices and monopolies. He was also found guilty, on somewhat insufficient evidence, of conspiring with Spain against England. Raleigh was not actually executed, though, until 1618, after what happened? More… Discuss
On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring is a tone poem composed in 1912 by Frederick Delius CH; it was first performed in Leipzig on 23 October 1913. It is the first of “Two Pieces for Small Orchestra”, the second piece being Summer Night on the River, although these have for many years existed separately on recordings and in the concert hall.
The piece opens with a slow three-bar sequence; its first theme is an exchange of cuckoo calls, first for oboe, then for divided strings. The second theme is scored for first violins, and is taken from a Norwegian folk song, “In Ola Valley”, which was brought to his attention by the Australian composer and folk-song arranger Percy Grainger. (The theme was also quoted by Edvard Grieg in his 19 Norwegian Folksongs, Op. 66.) The clarinet returns with the cuckoo calls before the piece ends in pastoral fashion. (Courtesy of Wikipedia).
I took these photographs of places in and around the Derbyshire Peak District: places just outside include the villages of Kirk Ireton and Brassington, which I shot today, and after a very long Winter and cold spring it truly felt like the first day of Spring! I have seen swallows return within the last week, but as yet haven’t heard a cuckoo. It won’t be long now though, and is always a joy!
For more videos and other information about the Peak District please visit Let’s Stay Peak District at http://www.peakdistrict-nationalpark.com
Mary Queen of Scots was the Catholic monarch during the Scottish Reformation. Forced to abdicate, she fled to England and was welcomed but then imprisoned by Elizabeth I, who considered Mary a threat due to her Catholicism and her strong claim to the throne through her grandmother, Margaret Tudor. During her 18-year imprisonment, Mary endlessly schemed to gain her freedom but was beheaded when the Babington Plot—to murder Elizabeth and place Mary on the throne—was discovered. Who was Babington? More… Discuss
|Definition:||(noun) A child who spends most of his time in the streets especially in slum areas.|
|Usage:||In Shaw’s Pygmalion, an elocution expert plucks a guttersnipe from Covent Garden market and teaches her to talk like a lady. Discuss.|
Sonata No. 1 in G minor for solo violin, BWV 1001 (Live)
After working for many years as a veterinary surgeon in rural England, Wight was persuaded by his wife to write down his collection of anecdotes. His humorous, fictionalized reminiscences were published under the pen name James Herriot in If Only They Could Talk (1970) and It Shouldn’t Happen to a Vet(1972), issued in the US as the single and massively successful volume All Creatures Great and Small. Why did Wight feel the need to write under a pseudonym? More… Discuss
Richard III was made a duke after his brother Edward of York deposed the weak Lancastrian king Henry VI and assumed power. Richard and Edward were driven into exile in 1470 but returned and defeated the Lancastrians the next year. On Edward’s death, Richard became protector for Edward’s son, the 12-year-old King Edward V, but he usurped the throne and confined Edward and his brother to the Tower of London, where they were likely murdered. Who defeated Richard to become England‘s next monarch?More… Discuss
Zola had an ardent zeal for social reform. His part in the Dreyfus Affair, notably his 1898 article “J’accuse,” was his most conspicuous public action and earned him the animosity of the anti-Dreyfus party. Prosecuted for libel, he escaped to England, where he remained until an amnesty enabled his return to France. A couple of years later, he died suddenly under suspicious circumstances, overcome by carbon-monoxide fumes in his sleep. Was it just a tragic accident or something more sinister? More… Discuss
Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world … but people don’t know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen.
A holy grail of marine salvage, the wreck of theMerchant Royal, one of the most valuable of all time, has eluded treasure hunters for centuries. When the leaky, 17th-century English merchant ship sank in rough weather in the vicinity of the Isles of Scilly and southwestern England, she took with her a fabled cargo of gold, silver, and precious gems worth over a billion dollars today. Among the riches lost in the wreck was the money to pay whom?More…
England‘s King James II may have been deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, but he was not without supporters. These supporters, the Jacobites, spent the next six decades unsuccessfully fighting to restore him—and, later, his descendants—to the throne. Their final major attempt, the Forty-five Rebellion, began auspiciously for the House of Stuart, with a victory at Prestonpans, Scotland. The battle was won in mere minutes. How many casualties did the government troops suffer in that time? More…Discuss
Ashton is best known as the founding choreographer of England‘s Royal Ballet. He was drawn to dance at age 13 after attending a performance by the legendary Anna Pavlova in Peru, where he grew up. While studying dance with Léonide Massine and Marie Rambert, he began staging works. In the 1930s, he joined what would later become the Royal Ballet as its chief choreographer. Ashton is largely responsible for the elegantly reserved style of English classical dance. What are his most famous works? More… Discuss
In our nature, however, there is a provision, alike marvelous and merciful, that the sufferer should never know the intensity of what he endures by its present torture, but chiefly by the pang that rankles after it.
Naoroji was an Indian nationalist leader who moved to England at age 30 and worked for the improvement of British policies toward India. He wrote and lectured extensively on the “drain” of wealth from India to England, which he saw as the principal cause of Indian poverty. His work helped to stimulate economic nationalism in India, and the younger generation of nationalist leaders hailed him affectionately as the “Grand Old Man of India.” He was the first Indian to do what in England? More…Discuss
The village of Eyam in Derbyshire, England, is best known for its decision to voluntarily quarantine itself when the Great Plague of London spread there in 1665. Villagers further tried to contain the disease by burying their own relatives and by leaving money disinfected in vinegar on a stone outside the village to pay for goods being delivered. The plague raged for 14 months and devastated Eyam, wiping out between 50 and 75 percent of its population. How was the plague brought to the village? More… Discuss
|Artist||en:William Bell Scott|
English: The Romans Cause a Wall to be Built for the Protection of the SouthThe Painting shows a centurion supervising the building of Hadrian’s Wall. The centurion has been given the face of John Clayton, who was responsible for saving parts of the Wall from loss. The painting is in the collection at Wallington Hall, near Morpeth, England.
English: 1857 (completed)
|Medium||oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||Original dimensions: 182 × 182 cm (71.7 × 71.7 in)|
|Current location||Wallington House|
Stretching 73.5 mi (118.3 km), Hadrian’s Wall was an ancient Roman wall built in Britain. Constructed mainly in the 2nd century CE under Emperor Hadrian, it guarded the northwestern frontier of the province from Celtic and other invaders. Fragments of the wall, 6 ft (1.8 m) high and 8 ft (2.4 m) thick, and many of its mile stations are still extant and are some of the largest and most significant remains of the Roman occupation. What other wall was built by the Romans in Britain? More… Discuss
“Quis who magnum murum wall inter Britanniam et Caledoniam aedificavit”
Adolph was an accomplished pianist who taught piano and practiced many hours during the day, much to the neglect of his wife, Clara, and their two children. Adolph’s family was of Swedish origin. One of his ancestors served as a court composer in Russia until he fell out of favor and exiled to Germany. Soon afterwards, the family emigrated to England. Holst’s mother, Clara, was a piano student of Adolph when first they met. Clara’s great – great grandmother was from Spain, where she had been an actress. She was soon married to an Irishman and moved to Ireland. Clara was sweet, gentle and unassuming but she was not very strong. She died soon after the birth of her second child, when Gustav was only eight. (Continue reading at: http://www.gustavholst.info/biography/index.php?chapter=1)
She was educated by private governesses until she was eighteen. Her study of languages, literature, science and history was broad and she was an eager student. Her artistic talents were recognized early. Although she was provided with private art lessons, Beatrix preferred to develop her own style, particularly favoring watercolor.
My thought on children books and letter sizes:
I remember,how when I was child I was mesmerized by the size of the letters. I always thought that those huge letters were tall, taller the the stories I was reading. As I grew up I had to buy a magnifying lens, aside for the prescription glasses I wear for reading: I needed to read the small prints. Those almost indistinguishably small (but of utmost importance) notes, with which all contracts end: Fear the small print, there is nothing good in it for you!