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.

Science and Scientists

The Character of Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac’s secretary has left us an engaging portrait of a kindly genius, the absent-minded professor of our fancy.

Length: 118 words

Discovery and Invention


When Archimedes discovered the principle of displacement, he was hot on the trail of a clever fraud.

Length: 113 words


Table Steaks

French travel writer Pierre-Jean Grosley toured Georgian London just in time to witness a culinary revolution: the sandwich.

Length: 57 words

Animal Stories

Dog and Wig

A loyal dog shows his initiative in recovering his master’s property, though his timing might have been better.

Length: 58 words

Classical History

Fiddling While Rome Burns

In 64, Nero watched on with fascination as Rome was consumed by fire — the Emperor’s idea of performance art.

Length: 118 words

Alicia Amherst

Top Banana

It was during the troubled reign of Charles I that the very first bananas seen in Britain went on display.

Length: 58 words