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.

Samuel Johnson

Keeping In With Hodge

Dr Johnson’s cat left James Boswell cold, but the great man himself would do anything to avoid hurting the little fellow’s feelings.

Length: 60 words

Russian History

Peter and Fevronia

Beneath a clutter of mediaeval legend lies a heartwarming tale of a Russian Prince and his peasant bride.

Length: 58 words

Biographical Extracts


A doctor is wondering how to apologise for being drunk on the job, when he receives a letter from his patient.

Length: 60 words

Mediaeval History

Duet for a Captive King

Legend tells how Richard the Lionheart’s favourite singer found where Leopold of Austria had stowed him.

Length: 59 words

Mediaeval History

Richard Unchained

A conspiracy of European monarchs sought to delay Richard the Lionheart’s homecoming long enough for John to steal his crown.

Length: 111 words

Edward Trelawny

Byron and the Black Horse

The flamboyant English poet went to extreme lengths to get a refund on an unsatisfactory purchase.

Length: 60 words