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.

County Durham

Poisoned Chalice

Scientist and clergyman Temple Chevallier believed that the fast pace of recent discoveries in astronomy risked substituting a new superstition for an old one.

Length: 117 words

County Durham


As late as the fifteenth century, criminals on the run could find refuge in the precincts of England’s great churches.

Length: 116 words


The Shimabara Rebellion

Forty thousand men, women and children, the last survivors of Japans’s persecuted Christian population, took refuge without earthly hope in a seaside castle.

Length: 172 words

Discovery and Invention

The Vast Depths of Infinity

Thomas Wright offers his readers a way of thinking about the enormous distances involved in any description of the solar system.

Length: 117 words

Discovery and Invention

Written in the Skies

Though some other sciences may seem to destroy it, astronomy restores a sense of religious awe.

Length: 56 words

Classical History

A Surfeit of Lampreys

Augustus, the Roman Emperor, invited himself to dine at the luxury Naples villa of Publius Vedius Pollio, but a broken goblet thoroughly spoilt the evening.

Length: 115 words