Next week, BBC2 will broadcast a 90 min drama called The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister. Starring Maxine Peake (Criminal Justice, Little Dorrit), the film evokes the life of Anne Lister (1791–1840), a lesbian who, despite needing to keep her orientation secret from society at large, defied the conventions of her times by living with her female lover.
Anne, a Yorkshire landowner, industrialist, traveller, kept a detailed account of her life, loves and emotions in a fascinating and painfully honest four million word journal. A sizeable portion of the journal was written in code and the recent deciphering of these diaries provides an astonishing insight into the life of the woman who has been called Britain’s first modern lesbian.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
Monday 31 May