UK launch of book penned by Frenchman about the legendary Hartlepool monkey

Wilfrid Lupano, author of the Le Singe de Hartlepool book
Wilfrid Lupano, author of the Le Singe de Hartlepool book

A NEW book penned by a Frenchman about the legendary Hartlepool monkey will have its official UK launch in the town next month.

The news comes after it was announced that the book, called Le Singe de Hartlepool – translated as The Monkey of Hartlepool – has picked up a prestigious history-themed award in France.

Krimo Bouabda with a copy of the Le Singe de Hartlepool book next to the monkey statue at Hartlepool Marina

Krimo Bouabda with a copy of the Le Singe de Hartlepool book next to the monkey statue at Hartlepool Marina

The French edition has received the Rendez-vous de l’histoire award, given every year at Rendez-vous de l’histoire, the biggest history event in France, in the city of Blois and with a jury made up of top historians.

The Mail reported in July that the quirky tale of the Hartlepool monkey legend, which says the people of Hartlepool hung a monkey fearing it was a French spy during the Napoleonic wars, had been immortalised in a new book by Wilfrid Lupano.

Hartlepool restaurateur Krimo Bouabda had been given a copy of the book as a 60th birthday present by his friend Didier Deville, who was also a well-known chef and restaurateur in the town from 1986, before returning to his native Carcassonne, in France, four years ago.

Now the English version of the hardback book, which even mentions ex-Hartlepool Mayor and former H’Angus the monkey mascot Stuart Drummond and contains pictures of town landmarks, is set to be launched with a book signing at the WHSmith store in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, at 4pm on Friday, October 4.

Author Wilfrid, and the book’s illustrator, Jeremie Moreau, will later be at Krimo’s eaterie.

Algerian-born Krimo, who has lived in Hartlepool for 28 years and is married to Karen, said: “The book is doing so well. It is even being translated into Spanish and I think German.

“Many people think the Hartlepool monkey tale is not a nice story, but everybody knows about Hartlepool wherever you go and if you say you are from Hartlepool, they immediately say ‘monkey hanger’, but that’s not derogatory.

“It could be something profitable for Hartlepool and people will read the book and associate it with the town.”

Tony Bennettt, of Knockabout, the UK publishers of the book, said of the award: “It’s good news, because with that award, the book will be covered in all the history magazines and websites.

“It’s not a specific comic award, that’s what so cool about it – it opens the way to a new audience.”

The book will also be launched in London after the Hartlepool event.