• From Anne’s diary, 9th August 1818 (age 28)

    Mrs Page began talking about my getting married. Told me I had a good figure, good complexion, held myself well & was, she thought, good-tempered. That I should be good-looking if I dressed my hair with bows, as they do now, and with curls, etc. She is a vulgar, good sort of woman, fond of giving her opinions and advice. I took it all well, was amused, led her on & praised her &, I daresay, came off with flying colours.

Helena’s Stories from Shibden Hall

In March 2019, Helena was kind enough to come to Shibden Hall, where she walked through the amazingly preserved rooms of Anne Lister’s home and regaled the small audience with stories about Anne Lister, gleaned from over 30 years of immersive research into Anne’s world and psyche. Enjoy these stories as only Helena can tell them!

The Red Bedroom

We began our tour in the Red Bedroom, which is arguably one of the most fascinating! Here’s why…

The death of Anne’s Uncle James:

Anne Walker’s demise:

Decoding the diaries:

Helena talks about the history of Anne Lister’s diaries, how many people knew about them before she found them, and how she started the process of decoding the “crypthand,” or Anne’s secret coded language. Helena ultimately decoded millions of words to uncover the rich story of Anne Lister’s life.

The Great Hall

Anne’s views on men

Helena describes Anne’s thoughts and opinions of men, including how they treated her, who she respected and didn’t respect, and her fearlessness in her own identity.