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Anne Lister: an LGBTQ+ History

Wednesday 21 October, 2020, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


An online talk by Jill Liddington whose research into the diaries of Anne Lister inspired the BBC1/HBO series Gentleman Jack.

The Portico Library welcomes Dr. Jill Liddington, whose unparalleled research into the diaries of Anne Lister revealed the compelling and important history of a person who defied society and convention to determine her own way of living.

Following the death of her Uncle James, Anne Lister took charge of her inheritance, Shibden Hall in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in 1826. Her diary entries, written in heavy abbreviations and private code, amount to over four million words. In 1990 Jill Liddington, living in Halifix just a mile from Lister’s estate, began to decipher the diaries. Liddington’s edition, Female Fortune: Land, Gender and Authority: The Anne Lister Diaries 1833-36 (1998, 2019), inspired scriptwriter Sally Wainwright to write Gentleman Jack (BBC1/HBO, 2019).

In this online lecture, Dr Liddington traces this story through the lens of LGBTQ+ history to explore precisely how Anne Lister has been presented by different generations of editors and historians, and how her irreplaceable diaries were almost destroyed and lost from history forever.


Wednesday 21 October, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm




The Portico Library
0161 236 6785
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