• From Anne’s diary, Friday 10th August 1832 (age 42)

    [The first time that Anne Lister put her thoughts in writing about the possibility of courting Ann Walker, the young heiress who lived at Lidgate in the neighbourhood of Shibden.]

    ‘… Thought I, as I have several times done of late, shall I try & make up to her?’

  • From Anne’s diary, Sunday 5th January 1834 (age 43)

    [After eighteen months of an on-and-off courtship, Anne was unsure about whether or not there could be a permanent relationship between them.]

    ‘…Miss W[alker] talks as if she would be glad to take me – then if I say anything decisive she hesitates to. I tell her it is all her money which is in the way. The fact is, she is as she was before [i.e. indecisive], but determined to get away from the Sutherlands and feels the want of me. But [I need to] take someone with more mind and less money. Steph [Belcombe – i.e. Mariana’s brother] is right: she would be a great pother [sic]. [I] have nothing serious to say to her – she wants better manning than I can manage.’

    [See also Jill Liddington’s Female Fortune. Rivers Oram Press. 1998. p.85.]

More Books About Anne Lister

Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister

Anne Choma

Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister - book cover

The official companion book to the BBC and HBO series Gentleman Jack, created by Sally Wainwright and starring Suranne Jones.

In 1834, Anne Lister made history by celebrating and recording the first ever known marriage to another woman. This is her remarkable, true story.

Fearless, charismatic and determined to explore her lesbian sexuality, Anne Lister forged her own path in a society that had no language to define her. She was a landowner, an industrialist, and a prolific diarist, whose output has secured her legacy as one of the most fascinating figures of the 19th century.

Gentleman Jack: The Real Anne Lister follows Anne from her crumbling ancestral home in Yorkshire to the glittering courts of Denmark as she resolves to put past heartbreak behind her and find herself a wife. This book introduces the real Gentleman Jack, featuring previously unpublished journal extracts.

Gentleman Jack: A biography of Anne Lister, Regency Landowner, Seducer and Secret Diarist

Angela Steidele

Gentleman Jack: A biography of Anne Lister - book cover

Anne Lister’s journals were so shocking that the first person to crack their secret code hid them behind a fake panel in his ancestral home. Anne Lister was a Regency landowner, an intrepid world traveller … and an unabashed lover of other women.

In this bold new biography, prize-winning author Angela Steidele uses the diaries to create a portrait of Anne Lister as we’ve never seen her before: a woman in some ways very much of her time and in others far ahead of it. Anne Lister recorded everything from the most intimate details of her numerous liaisons through to her plans to make her fortune by exploiting the coal seams under her family estate in Halifax and her reaction to the Peterloo massacre.

Anne Lister conducted a love life of labyrinthine complexity, all while searching for a wife who could provide her with both financial security and true love.

The Moss House

Clara Barley

The Moss House - book cover

Historical romance novel, based on the real life story of Anne Lister and Ann Walker.

In the mid 19th century, neighbouring Yorkshire landowners Anne Lister and Ann Walker find their lives become entwined in a passionate, forbidden relationship and retreat to the Moss House, their private sanctuary away from an unaccepting world. Their tranquillity does not last long as they are drawn into the turmoil of a changing society and a divided family, testing their love for each other, eventually driving them from their home.

The world was not yet ready for the likes of Miss Lister. Landowner, scholar, traveller, mountaineer, and non-conformist, but in The Moss House we discover her lifelong battle to be her true self as she finds Ann Walker and together they try to live life on their own terms.

Nature’s Domain: Anne Lister and the Landscape of Desire

Jill Liddington

Nature's Domain: Anne Lister and the Landscape of Desire - book cover

This book inspired Sally Wainwright’s TV drama series, Gentleman Jack.

In May 1832 Anne Lister was making her way home to Halifax and ancient Shibden Hall. Betrayed once again by another woman’s marriage plans, she knew her romantic youth was over. A chance re-acquaintance with neighbouring heiress Ann Walker changed all that. Nature’s Domain tracks her intense courtship of Ann Walker, vividly and candidly recorded in Anne’s daily journals – partly written in her own secret code.

This influential Anne Lister book also documents how she began redesigning the Shibden landscape and playing a powerful new role in the local political tumult after the passing of the great Reform Bill.

Female Fortune: Land, Gender and Authority

Jill Liddington

Female Fortune: Land, Gender and Authority - book cover

Anne Lister, heiress, scholar, traveler, and estate owner, is known to us through her diaries — an unusually vivid record of an extraordinary life. She inherited Shibden Hall, Yorkshire, seduced a neighbouring heiress, consolidated their estates (effectively a dynastic lesbian marriage), and developed the coal deposits there, managing them with flair and energy.

Jill Liddington analyses the role of gender in Lister’s invasion of what were, at the time, almost exclusively male domains. The book is supported by generous selections from the diaries themselves.

The extensive appraisal of Anne Lister’s life and the themes drawn from the diaries make Female Fortune required reading for anyone engaged in current feminist analysis. It is an important text for students of women’s studies, gender studies, social and cultural history, and lesbian and gay studies.

Presenting the Past: Anne Lister of Halifax, 1791-1840

Jill Liddington

Presenting the Past: Anne Lister of Halifax, 1791-1840 - book cover

The dramatic story of how the Anne Lister diaries and letters survived after her death in 1840. Jill Liddington recounts how the code was deciphered in the 1890s by John Lister, who inherited Shibden Hall. Once cracked, these coded passages revealed Anne Lister’s daring lesbian affairs.

Plunging the reader into the Archives in Halifax where the Shibden Hall papers are stored, Presenting the Past offers a critical reappraisal of the dramatically different images of Anne Lister – and asks how and why earlier editors selected their version?