Georgia's Column - Introspective

June 2022
This column is written by one of our talented IC students. 

Anne Lister

Anne Lister ( 3rd April 1791-  22nd September 1840), was an English landowner and diarist from Halifax, West Yorkshire. Throughout her life, she kept diaries. That chronicled the featials of her daily life, including her lesbian relationships, her financial concerns her industrial activities, and her work improving Shiadan Hall

Her diaries contain 7,720 pages more than 5 million words and a sixth of them- those concerning the intimate details of her romantic and sexual relationships- were written in code.

The code, derived from a combination of algebra and ancient Greek was deciphered in the 1930’s.

Lister is often called,: ‘The first modern lesbian.’ for her clear knowledge and openly lesbian lifestyle.

Lister fell in love with a wealthy heiress, Ann Walker, and the two eventually took communion together on Easter Sunday, (30th March 1834), in Holy Trinity Church , Goodramgate, York, and thereafter, considered themselves married, but without legal recognition. The couple lived together at Shibden Hall until Lister’s death in 1840.

The 2019 BBC – HBO historical TV drama series, “ Gentleman Jack ”, starring  Suranne Jones, as Lister, is inspired by two books about Lister by Jill Liddington, “Female Fortune ” and Nature’s Domain”. Liddington also acted as a consultant for the series.