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King's Lynn pupils to receive new Margery Kempe books for free

A new book on a medieval Christian mystic from Lynn is being distributed to year five children in the area for free.

‘Margery Kempe of Lynn’ has been written by Lindsey Bavin and Rebecca Rees of True’s Yard Fisherfolk Museum and will be launched next month.

The book will include an activity section as well as promoting mental health awareness amongst schoolchildren.

True's Yard Museum
True's Yard Museum

Ms Rees, deputy manager of the museum, said Kempe has been diagnosed with psychiatric conditions by modern historians, having claimed to seen visions of Christ and demons in the early15th century.

She added: The book will educate children and get them interested early in the history of where they come from.”

A total of 15 schools have been contacted by the museum within the immediate area, and it comes after the launch of similar history book schemes in 2015 and 2018 by True’s Yard.

The Margery Kempe bench on the Saturday Market Place in King's Lynn
The Margery Kempe bench on the Saturday Market Place in King's Lynn

Kempe is believed to have dictated the earliest autobiography in English as she was illiterate and unable to write it herself.

Manager Lindsey Bavin said: “Margery’s story is unique, a Medieval woman who defied societies’ idea of who she should be and how she should live her life.

"The children’s book tells her story but also looks at the people around her and the events that shaped her life. Local history is so important because it grounds us and provides insight into our ancestors’ lives.”

Anthony Bale’s translation was used due to the Norfolk dialect and medieval writing in the original version.

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