New children’s book imagines young life of Venerable Bede

Joe Stewart has written a children's book imagining the early life of Bede.
Joe Stewart has written a children's book imagining the early life of Bede.

A retired teacher is hoping to spread the word about the Venerable Bede - by imagining what his childhood would have been like.

Joe Stewart has penned fictional children’s book, Bede’s Well about the saint’s life growing up in the Northumbrian countryside.

I do think it’s a shame that we don’t know more about him in his younger years.

Joe Stewart

The grandad-of-four, originally from Hebburn, said: “Bede’s Well is a fictional account of the boyhood of Bede.

“Little is actually known of the early life of Bede and some accounts have him born in Monkwearmouth, north of the city of Sunderland, while other sources think he was born in Monkton, between Jarrow and Hebburn.

“As a Hebburn lad myself I have based my story on the assumption he was born near Monkton.”

Joe is hoping that children reading the book will learn from it by spotting what came from his imagination and what is actually historical fact.

The 62-year-old, who taught at St James RC Primary School, in Hebburn, said: “I’ve always been interested in local history and this is something I’ve always wanted to do, and now that I’m retired I had more time to do it.”

Joe, who lives in Whitburn, added: “I’m planning to write more books about Bede.

“I want to write one about him as a teenager and entering the monastery and another about his life in the monastery, although that one will have to be more historically accurate as quite a lot is known about Bede then.

“I do think it’s a shame that we don’t know more about him in his younger years.”

Bede’s Well is available to buy on Amazon for £5.