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

A Tale Worth All His Fortune

William Cobbett recalls his first taste of classic literature, for which he had to go without his supper.

Length: 120 words

Abolition of Slavery

Wilberforce Contra Mundum

John Wesley wrote to a young William Wilberforce to encourage him in his campaign against the slave trade.

Length: 59 words

Abolition of Slavery

A Change of Heart

An irate coal merchant squares up to the oh-so-righteous gentleman who didn’t like the way he was treating his horse.

Length: 57 words

Liberty and Prosperity

A Victim of His Success

Economist Adam Smith so changed the conversation in Britain that most people take his groundbreaking insights for granted.

Length: 59 words

Modern History

An Embarrassment of Heroes

John Buchan warned that the great figures of history are often beyond their biographers’ comprehension.

Length: 113 words

Biographical Extracts

Sir William Keeps a Prior Engagement

Sir William Napier stopped to console an unhappy little girl, and made her a promise he did not find it easy to keep.

Length: 119 words