Mini Copy Book

Each post in this section is a short précis (summary) of a passage in The Copy Book. All of them are in modern English. They are intended for students of English as a Foreign Language at Elementary Level.

Free Speech and Conscience

Order and Method

Taking the trouble to express ourselves more clearly helps us to think more clearly too.

Length: 59 words

Russian History

Timur in Russia

Timur, Muslim lord of Samarkand, threw his weight behind the Golden Horde’s subjugation of Christian Russia, with unexpected results.

Length: 104 words

Poets and Poetry

An Excellent Performance

On a visit to England in 1599, Swiss doctor Thomas Platter found time to pop across the Thames and take in a show.

Length: 112 words

Poets and Poetry


Three years before the Great War, Rudyard Kipling recalled how one English king simply paid his bullying neighbours to stay at home.

Length: 55 words

Discovery and Invention

The First Steam Whistle

After an accident at a level crossing, the bosses of the Leicester and Swannington Railway acknowledged that drivers needed more than lung power.

Length: 119 words

Classical History

The Surrender of Vercingetorix

As Rome’s grip on Gaul tightened, one man still dared to defy them.

Length: 115 words