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.


Educational Ideals

Like the ideal Christian, the ideal teacher is one who spreads joy in everything, great or small.

Length: 119 words

Extracts from Poetry

Pater’s Bathe

A charming children’s rhyme that is also a test of the clearest speaker’s diction.

Length: 59 words

Extracts from Literature

Fricassée in France

In the opening lines of Laurence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey, the narrator explains the perverse whim that led him to leave his home shores behind.

Length: 59 words

Passages from the Authorised Version


When Rhoda, maid to John Mark and his mother, said Peter was standing at the gate, nobody in the house believed her.

Length: 178 words

Georgian Era

Trouble at Belsize Gardens

In 1720, Welsh promoter William Howell opened a pleasure garden at Belsize House, but the pleasures drew the magistrates’ frowns.

Length: 164 words

William Cobbett

Judges’ Wigs

On a countryside ramble in West Sussex, William Cobbett finds the weather turning against him.

Length: 59 words