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Mary Kingsley was born in 1862. She was trapped by the conventions of her time until her parents died but then, with an annual income of £500, she was free to travel and in 1893 went to Africa. Travelling alone in small steamers and native canoes, which she learned to handle, she went deep into the jungles, learning about the spiritual lives of the African tribes and collecting specimens of fish for the British Museum. Her books were popular, funny and contentious and her views on missionaries were trenchant. After publishing her first book Mary Kingsley returned to West Africa. During the Boer War she worked in the military hospitals in South Africa where she died of typhus.
Philippa Urquhart has been a member of The Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. She has worked extensively in Repertory Theatres across England and Scotland, and has appeared in London’s West End. Her many TV credits include Lillian Cartland in Tenko and Miss Briggs in Vanity Fair, for the BBC. Films include Laughter In The Dark, and Children of Men. Her one woman show The Turn Of The Screw, adapted from the famous ghost story by Henry James, continues to tour successfully across the UK and worldwide.
Nick McCarty has been a professional writer for forty years and has written for television shows such as Bergerac, The Onedin Line, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Z-Cars and General Hospital. He has also written award-winning radio drama adaptations including A Tale of Two Cities, Dan Dare, Jekyll and Hyde, Hard Times and Dracula as well as many original plays for both the BBC and Commercial Radio.