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.

Lives of the Saints

Ranulf’s Tooth

As he sat in his guest room at Durham Abbey, Ranulf de Capella could think of nothing but finding someone to rid him of his painful toothache.

Length: 120 words

Stuart Era

The Royal Oak

In 1680, Samuel Pepys sat down with Charles II to record how, many years before, a bold double-bluff saved the King from Cromwell’s men.

Length: 115 words

Georgian Era

Better than a Play

During his tour of England in 1782, Karl Philipp Moritz dropped in on the House of Commons, and thought the histrionics in the Chamber better than any play.

Length: 59 words

Mrs (Mary Louisa) Molesworth

The Old House

In the opening lines of The Cuckoo Clock, Mrs Molesworth paints a word-picture of a house so old that Time itself seemed to have stopped.

Length: 115 words

History of Africa

Padgett, MP

Lord Cromer, a former Consul-General of Egypt, expressed his frustration at politicians who set too much store by Foreign Office briefings.

Length: 114 words

Winston Spencer Churchill

The Uganda Railway

When it opened in 1901, the Uganda Railway still wasn’t in Uganda, and Westminster’s MPs were still debating whether or not to build it.

Length: 115 words