A teacher turned novelist who has written two historical novels set in the north east’s Derwent Valley is to give a talk.

Val Scully will share her love of creating fiction by using people from the past when she speaks at Durham County Record Office’s latest Third Thursday session on Thursday 18th July.

Two of Val’s novels – My Name is Eleanor and Molly Bowes – are influenced by the rich history of the Gibside Estate and the wider Derwent Valley area.

My Name is Eleanor tells the story of a rich coal heiress navigating the marriage conventions of Georgian England while Molly Bowes follows a woman’s 19th-century adventures through London prisons, politically radical circles on Tyneside, and the Victorian criminal underworld.

During her talk, entitled Only Connect – Using Fiction to bring Local History to a Wider Audience, Val Scully will tell attendees about how she turned 18th and 19th century events into enthralling historical novels.

The education and outreach archivist at Durham County Record Office, Dawn Layland, said, “Val worked as a teacher on Tyneside before volunteering at Gibside for the National Trust.”

“This work sparked her interest and led her down the literary path. She, therefore, has a fascinating insight into its history.”

“Our rich collections are full of stories waiting to be told, and this session is sure to inspire anyone interested in local history.”

Val Scully’s talk will be held at Durham County Record Office in Durham City on Thursday 18th July between 6.30 pm and 8.00 pm.

Tickets, which are priced at £5 per person, need to be booked in advance.

You can reserve your tickets by going to https://recordofficeshop.durham.gov.uk/pgEventResult.

To learn more about Val Scully and her work, please visit https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?i=stripbooks&rh=p_27%3AVal+Scully&s=relevancerank&text=Val+Scully&ref=dp_byline_sr_book_1.

(This article’s featured image shows a picture of Gibside Hall from the middle of the 20th century. DCRO Ref: D/CL 5/429)





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