Virago Modern Classics Book Club
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
Edited by Helena Whitbread
Our book of the month this June is The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister – the inspiration for the HBO/BBC series: Gentleman Jack.
When this volume of Anne Lister’s diaries was first published in 1988, it was hailed as a vital piece of lost lesbian history. The editor, Helena Whitbread, had spent years painstakingly researching and transcribing Lister’s extensive journals, much of which were written in an elaborate code – what Lister called her ‘crypthand’, which allowed her to record her life in intimate, and at times, explicit, detail. Until then, Anne Lister’s lesbianism had been suppressed or hinted at; this was the first time her story had been told.
Anne Lister defied the role of nineteenth-century womanhood: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller and lesbian – a woman who lived her life on her own terms.
ALSO AVAILABLE IN EBOOK, THE SECOND VOLUME OF DIARIES: NO PRIEST BUT LOVE