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


Facing defeat at the General Election of 1812, Henry Brougham stood before the voters of Liverpool and made a spirited defence of liberty’s record.

Length: 111 words

History of China

Banner of Liberty

In 1840, Secretary at War Thomas Macaulay treated the Union Jack like a bully’s visiting card, but backbencher William Gladstone believed it deserved better.

Length: 114 words

History of China

The First Opium War

In 1840, the British Government declared war on the Chinese Empire over their harsh treatment of drug smugglers from Bengal.

Length: 112 words

Poets and Poetry

The Time of Age

Seventeenth-century poet and statesman Edmund Waller reflects on the benefits of advancing years.

Length: 0 words

Character and Conduct

Vice and Virtue

Vice is a fact of life, wrote Pope, and God can even bring good out of it; but vice is never a virtue and in tackling vice together we make our society stronger.

Length: 115 words

Tales from the New Testament

The Woman Taken in Adultery

The Pharisees conspire to put Jesus in a seemingly impossible situation, by inviting him to take sides in the bitter politics of Jew and Roman.

Length: 120 words