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.

Extracts from Fiction


Sir Edward Leithen finds himself revising his opinion of the ‘detestable’ Koré Arabin.

Length: 119 words

American Literature

To the Last I Grapple With Thee

Ahab, his mind broken by an obsession, at last confronts the enemy he has hunted so long.

Length: 115 words

British National Character

An Invasion of Privacy

Perhaps European harmonisation would make life easier, but that would be only the beginning.

Length: 118 words

International Relations

Brigands and Imbeciles

John Bright dismissed fears that digging a tunnel under the English Channel would encourage a French invasion.

Length: 120 words

Myths and Legends

Out of Reach

Odysseus recalls meeting Tantalus and Sisyphus, for whom relief was everlastingly beyond their grasp.

Length: 60 words

Extracts from Fiction

Robinson Crusoe Goes to Sea

Hours after running away to sea, Robinson Crusoe was sorry he ever left home.

Length: 169 words