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King's Lynn museum unveils new book on Margery Kempe

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A new book, which aims to make the story of one of Lynn's most famous residents accessible to younger readers, has been launched this week.

Officials from the True's Yard Fisherfolk Museum last month announced plans to distribute copies of their work on Margery Kempe, who is credited as having dictated the first autobiography in the English language, to local schoolchildren.

And the completed work, Margery Kempe of Lynn, was unveiled during a ceremony at Lynn's town hall on Saturday, attended by borough deputy mayor Margaret Wilkinson.

Book launch at Kings Lynn Town Hall ..left to right Rebecca Rees, Margaret Wilkinson and Lindsey Bavin. (21311396)
Book launch at Kings Lynn Town Hall ..left to right Rebecca Rees, Margaret Wilkinson and Lindsey Bavin. (21311396)

True's Yard manager Lindsey Bavin, who has co-authored the book with deputy manager Rebecca Rees, said the project had attracted widespread interest since it was first outlined in October.

She said: "The academic community is really interested in the fact we're doing a book aimed at children, as some aspects of her life are particularly challenging. They're very supportive."

She also revealed some copies of the book have been sent to the United States, adding: "She's a big subject over there."

Year five pupils from 15 local schools, who were previously approached by True's Yard, are set to receive free copies of the book over the coming weeks as part of the project, which is the third history book to be compiled by True's Yard.

Miss Bavin said proceeds from sales of the book will mean it can be taken to more schools going forward.

And, although the book does tackle some of the more difficult aspects of Margery's life, such as her struggles with what later mental health, she is confident that it will still be well received by young readers.

She said: "Children are incredibly bright. We aim to make sure we're not talking down to them. We go into schools and we ask them to review the sections to make sure they like them.

"We want it to be fun and we would like them to read it."

Copies of Margery Kempe of Lynn are available from the True's Yard museum and online, via www.fast-print.net, priced £9.99.

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