In April 2008, I had one of my semi-regular dinner dates with a seventy-two-year-old friend who was an avid canoeist and hiker. As we dined on pasta and drank red wine, he raved about Lady Franklin’s Revenge by Ken McGoogan (HarperCollins). He gleefully recounted Lady F’s exploits and described her as compelling and intelligent; I can’t remember if he said manipulative. A few weeks later I happened to wander through the aisles of the second-hand bookstore in town, and there it was. I bought Revenge and began my education in how to manipulate history and maintain your honour as a Victorian lady. McGoogan’s book is an in-depth account of a detail-oriented, uncompromising, highly motivated and intelligent woman. The adventure that was Lady and Sir John Franklin’s partnership is rife with love, betrayal, adventure and intrigue. Jane Griffin (Lady F) met John Franklin long after he’d earned his reputation as an Arctic explorer, and she was thirty-six when they married. Through her persuasiveness and societal connections, she manoeuvred him into the position of lieutenant-governor of Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land, as it was known), pushed him into his final Arctic exploration and, finally, elevated him to the status of revered discoverer of the Northwest Passage—all the while expanding her status and influence. She was an aristocrat, comfortable and well educated—both formally and informally, through her world travels. This would not have been possible without her wealth, but her gumption would have galled most Victorian men—she went where she wanted, when she wanted. Bottom line: Sir John Franklin did not discover the Northwest Passage, but Lady Franklin convinced an awful lot of people that he did. How she did it is an adventure story of its own.