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

A Rush to Judgment

As a young man, surveyor Thomas Telford was a red-hot political activist who yearned for revolution, but admittedly he had read just one book on the matter.

Length: 109 words


‘We are Free Men of Novgorod’

The politicians of Novgorod, angry at Moscow’s interference, thought they would teach her a lesson by selling out to Poland.

Length: 111 words

British Myths and Legends

Brutus of Britain

Back in the days of the prophet Samuel, so the story goes, a grandson of Trojan hero Aeneas brought civilisation to the British Isles.

Length: 119 words

Cat Stories

When the Cat’s Away...

A Victorian artist and avid bird-watcher banished cats from his country cottage, but soon wished he hadn’t.

Length: 176 words

The British Constitution

A Dereliction of Duty

Edmund Burke tore into the directors of the East India Company, accusing them of doing less for the country than India’s mediaeval conquerors.

Length: 115 words

Indian History

The Moth Versus the Fire

After its prime minister signed the Maratha Confederacy over to the East India Company, the member states rose up in a body.

Length: 118 words