Uncharted Territory

Uncharted Territory / Stef Penney and Jane Menczer


Set against the stark, timeless beauty of northern Greenland, and fin-de-siecle New York and London, Costa-winning author Steph Penney’s novel Under a Pole Star is a compelling look at the dark side of the ‘golden age’ of exploration, a study of the corrosive power of ambition, and an epic, incendiary love story following whaler’s daughter Flora Mackie as she sets out to become a scientist and explorer.

Set in 1905 Jane Menczer’s novel An Unlikely Agent follows Margaret Trant, who begins the story living with her ailing mother in a dreary boarding house in St John’s Wood. Following a chance interview she finds herself working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, Bureau 8, whose mission is to track down and neutralise a ruthless band of anarchists known as The Scorpions.

Chairing the discussion on writing pioneering female protagonists will be writer Gwyn Garfield-Bennett.