Historical author Philippa Gregory is to open a newly launched community library in North Yorkshire later this month.
The Globe in Stokesley is one of the 21 libraries in North Yorkshire that was handed over to the community earlier this year, following the council's decision to cease operating them due to budget cuts, according to The Northern Echo.
The library, now called The Globe Stokesley Community Library, is being run as a charitable trust. Stokesley Town Council is funding a professional library manager, Jane Hall, to run the venture and manage its resources and staffing.
Hall said: “The library is a hub that will be well used for community activities as well as the borrowing of books and reading for people young and old. The community kicked into action when there was a real fear that the library would shut, and now it has been saved there is tremendous optimism. The formal opening on 15th June by such a distinguished author will mark an important milestone."
Gregory, who lives near Stokesley, will be officially opening the new library on 15th June.
She told The Northern Echo: “I am a great supporter of libraries – I spent a lot of time in them as a child and, in later life, they have been an essential resource in my academic and working life. In particular, they are especially important for our children who may not have space, resources or encouragement at home. They provide a doorway to a whole world and we should be doing everything we can to protect culture, even during austere and difficult times.”
Gregory recently revealed she was taking a new direction with her historical writing in a four-book deal with Simon & Schuster. A three-book fiction series will depart from fictionalising the Tudor and Plantagenet courts to tell a “richly imagined, multi-generational story spanning three centuries and continents, with one family at its heart”. The first novel in The Fairmile Series is set in the mid-1600s and the series will cover 300 years of history, following the family through the ages as they rise from local tenant farmers in the south of England to travel the world and become dynamic entrepreneurs.
The non-fiction work, meanwhile, will explore the contributions of "extraordinary yet little known women" throughout the centuries “historically demonstrating that women are agents of their own destinies”.