By Anne Lister
Those impressive diaries are a section of misplaced lesbian heritage. Anne Lister defied the function of womanhood noticeable within the novels of Jane Austen: she was once daring, fiercely self sufficient, a landowner, industrialist, visitor - and lesbian. She stored broad diaries, written in part in code, of her lifestyles and loves. The diaries were edited by means of Helena Whitbread, who spent years interpreting and transcribing them.
'[Anne Lister's] feel of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her glossy to us. She used to be a girl workout wide awake selection. She managed her funds and her physique. At a time whilst girls needed to marry, or be sorted by means of a male family member, and while all their estate on marriage handed to their husband, Anne Lister not just dodged the traps of being woman, she arrange a liaison with one other girl that improved her personal wealth and left either one of them loose to stay as they wanted . . . The diaries gave me braveness' Jeanette Winterson
'Engaging, revealing, now and then easily magnificent: Anne Lister's diaries are an imperative learn for someone drawn to the heritage of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of girls' Sarah Waters
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Ought not to like women. At the same time apologizing for my inclination that way. By diverse arguments made out a pitiful story altogether & roused poor Anne’s sympathy to tears. Friday 16 August [Buxton] A very rainy day & Buxton looked very dull. Took a few turns every now & then under the Piazza. Tasted the well-water – & it has nothing at all unpleasant to the taste but the mouthful I took made me rather sick. Went to Moore’s circulating library in the Crescent – found nothing but novels & some of them none of the best nor least exceptionable.
In the evening, wrote a letter to Marian,1 Market Weighton. A fine, cold, frosty day… The flute for ½ hour after tea. Wednesday 2 April [Halifax] Began this morning to sit, before breakfast, in my drawers put on with gentlemen’s braces I bought for 2/6 on 27 March 1809 & my old black waistcoat & dressing-gown. Tuesday 15 April [Halifax] Did not sleep well last night & was, besides, disturbed about 4 by the cook, who awoke me to say a shabby-looking man was stealing the hens. … Not much sun. The wind exceedingly high & the dust blown about so violently as to make it almost impossible to face it.
They also had a town house in York. Like Anne, Isabella was never to marry and at one time she had entertained hopes of becoming Anne’s life-partner. However, she had been instrumental in introducing M— to Anne and, in so doing, quickly found that the intensity of the new relationship precluded any realisation of her dream of a future life with Anne. The point at which Anne’s story begins in this book, 14 August 1816, has not been an arbitrary decision on my part. The early journals, from 11 August 1806 to 22 February 1810, were written before Anne had met Mariana Belcombe.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister by Anne Lister