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.

Discovery and Invention

The Rainhill Trials

To prove that steam power was the future of railways, George Stephenson held a truly historic competition.

Length: 55 words

Extracts from Literature

Collateral Damage

Richard Hannay reflects on the innocent lives lost, when the lust for power or the desire for revenge makes us less than human.

Length: 59 words

Greek and Roman Myths

Heracles and the Birds of Lake Stymphalia

Our hero is sent to deal with some man-eating birds, but cannot reach their lakeside refuge.

Length: 61 words

Lives of the Saints

St Nicholas and the Empty Granary

The saintly Bishop helped the captain of a merchant ship to cut through the red tape, and save his town from starvation.

Length: 58 words

Lives of the Saints

Cuthbert and the Phantom Fire

The Northumbrian saint warned of an enemy who would stop at nothing to silence the good news.

Length: 60 words

Extracts from Literature


Jim Hawkins, on a remote desert island, has escaped pirates only to be caught by a shadowy figure among the trees.

Length: 57 words