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.

Liberty and Prosperity

The Prisoner’s Friend

Thomas Wright never earned more than a foreman’s wage, but he helped hundreds of prisoners back into society.

Length: 58 words

Liberty and Prosperity

The Great Baby

Charles Dickens rails at the way Parliament and do-gooders treat the public like an irresponsible child.

Length: 54 words

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.

Length: 51 words

Lives of the Saints

The Bearded Foreigner

A Japanese swordsman confronts a Russian monk for... actually, he’s not really quite sure.

Length: 115 words

Indian History


A young Indian student from Cambridge was selected for England’s cricket team after public pressure.

Length: 104 words

Lives of the Saints

Cuthbert, the Bridle and the Book

One of England’s most precious artefacts, the Lindisfarne Gospels, was nearly lost at sea.

Length: 59 words