The Copy Book

Readings in history, society and literature

The Copy Book

Readings in history, society and literature
Lit. & Phil. Library, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Photo by Michael D. Beckwith. Public domain image.
Clay Lane
The Copy Book Inspired by the anthologies of NL Clay

Passages for reading. Read them out aloud. Paraphrase or précis them. Discuss them with friends. Does anything surprise or impress you? How does the author work your feelings? Would you use his words? How would you direct the scene in a movie — and who would your stars be?

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On This Day

Sunday July 14 ns July 1 os

For Church feasts falling on July 14 in the New Style calendar, see St Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain.

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International Relations

A Credit to His Country

The diplomat’s task is to see the best in other peoples, not to scold them for their failings.

Lives of the Saints

The Synod of Whitby

In 664, a council at Whitby decided to align the traditions of the Northumbrian Church with those of Rome and Constantinople.

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American Civil War

John Brown of Osawatomie

Shortly before the American Civil War, an attack by pro-slavery militants on the city of Lawrence prompted John Brown to try to clean up Kansas.

Discovery and Invention

The Railway Clearing House

All but forgotten today, the RCH was one of the most important steps forward in British industrial history.

Discovery and Invention

Ireland’s First Railway

The Dublin to Dun Laoghaire line opened in 1834, and proved a remarkable testimony to the speed of technological progress.

Discovery and Invention

Fashionable Freedom

Josiah Wedgwood’s promotional gift made Abolitionism fashionable.

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Selected Authors

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Winter Wisdom

The Tale of Robert Tomson

The Friendship of Trade

Who Can Refute a Sneer?

The Avengers

The Blessing of Disguise

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Selected Topics

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Bible and Saints

Tales from the Bible, including the parables of Jesus and the story of Esther, and miracles from the lives of saints, such as our own Cuthbert the Wonderworker.

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Tales about the cradle of Western civilisation, from Socrates and the first democracies to the fall of the Roman Empire, the Ottoman yoke, and Britain’s part in the fight for independence.

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The British Constitution

Passages examining Britain’s sometimes baffling constitutional monarchy, and telling the story of its enemies, its champions, and its reformers.

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Myths and Legends

Stories of wisdom, wonder and imagination from the Fables of Aesop and the epics of Homer to the folklore of India, Japan, Russia and Britain.

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Tales from our cousins to the West, telling of their independence from Britain, their bloody civil war, and their runaway prosperity — and the slender thread by which it hangs.

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Animal Stories

Fables and true tales about animals, including a dog who regularly commuted to Matlock, a horse who didn’t approve of bad language, and a cat who saved her owners from an earthquake.

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