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.

Indian History

The Tea Committee

Sir William Hunter looks back over a Government committee’s plan to introduce tea cultivation to India in 1834.

Length: 116 words

Stuart Era

The Furcifer

In the days of King James I, Thomas Coryat visited Italy and came home with an affected Continental habit: eating with a fork.

Length: 118 words

Extracts from Literature


A London barrister indulges in courtroom theatrics to win a case, but it turns out that not everything is as it seems.

Length: 57 words

Poets and Poetry

Home Thoughts from the Sea

Robert Browning, aboard ship in sight of Gibraltar, reflects on the momentous events in British history that have happened nearby.

Length: 58 words

Extracts from Literature

‘The Helmet! The Helmet!’

On the day that Manfred, Prince of Otranto, expected his son Conrad to marry the Marquis of Vicenza’s daughter, grotesque tragedy struck.

Length: 112 words

American Civil War

John Brown of Osawatomie

Shortly before the American Civil War, an attack by pro-slavery militants on the city of Lawrence prompted John Brown to try to clean up Kansas.

Length: 117 words