Daily Archives for: August 25th, 2021

Glimpses into the Secret Diaries of Anne Lister (“Gentleman Jack”)

The fascinating and highly transgressive Englishwoman Anne Lister (1791 – 1840) of Shibden Hall in Yorkshire wasn’t a writer of published books, but was a committed diarist with a lot to write about. This introduction to the secret diaries of Anne Lister is excerpted from Killing the Angel: Early Transgressive British Woman Writers by Francis Booth ©2021, reprinted by permission.

Known in her local environs as “Gentleman Jack,” Lister’s enormous journals, only recently published, run to twenty six volumes and four million words – which possibly makes her in terms of word count one of the most prolific of woman writers in this book – but were never meant to be read by anyone.

These diaries, written primarily between 1817 and the mid-1820s, are partly in code to hide Lister’s lesbian sexuality. Once decoded, they are perfectly unambiguous, at least today. Read More→

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