This includes translating the coded sections of the diaries as we hope this will allow volunteers to enjoy finding new stories for themselves as part of the process. It will also allow the text to be searchable for key words and topics once the translations are complete. Find out more on the ARA news page. The coded sections what Anne called her crypt-hand use a letter replacement code in which individual letters are replaced by symbols.

The details of her sexual relations can be explicit and volunteers are advised to be aware of this before undertaking translation work. The plain hand text includes details Anne did not feel needed to be so secret but are no less fascinating, such as details of her everyday public life as well as local and national events.

Once complete these transcripts will be compared to help ensure accuracy, and the final transcripts will be made available on our online catalogue. There has been fantastic interest in the project from a brilliant group of volunteer Code Breakers from across the Globe. The image below shows how the project is progressing since July and will be updated routinely… thank you to all of the Code Breakers for their fantastic work!

Our first update of completed transcripts went on our online catalogue in July withwords. Transcriptions for the following volumes are now available on our online catalogue. We would not have been able to provide these transcripts without their enthusiasm and dedication. Once you have completed it please email it to us at calderdale wyjs. We will check your transcript and then, if you are happy to continue, we can provide you with details of further pages which need to be transcribed.

Anne Lister — An Introduction. Anne Lister — Early Years. Anne Lister — The Journals. Anne Lister — Love Life. Anne Lister — Shibden Hall. Anne Lister — A Window into History. Anne Lister — The Traveller. Share this: Twitter Facebook.Throughout her life, she kept diaries that chronicled the details of her daily life, including her lesbian relationships, her financial concerns, her industrial activities, and her work improving Shibden Hall.

Anne Lister was the second child and eldest daughter of Jeremy Lister — who, as a young man inserved with the British 10th Regiment of Foot in the Battles of Lexington and Concord in the American War of Independence. Their first child, John, was born in but died the same year. Anne Lister was born in Halifax on 3 April Inthe family moved to an estate named Skelfler House at Market Weighton. Skelfler was where young Anne spent her earliest years.

A second son, Samuel, who was close to Anne, was born in Between andLister was educated at home by the Reverend George Skelding, the vicar of Market Weightonand at the age of seven, she was sent to a school run by a Mrs.

Hagues and a Mrs. Chettle in Agnesgate, Ripon. Anne and Eliza met and shared a bedroom aged 13 at boarding school, but Anne was asked to leave after two years. She rejoined the school after Eliza had left. Eliza expected to live with Anne as an adult, but Anne began affairs with Isabella Norcliffe and Mariana Belcombe, day-pupils at the school. In despair and frustration, Eliza became a patient at Clifton Asylum, run by Mariana's father, Dr Belcombe [10] [11] Eliza Raine was later transferred to Terrace House in Osbaldwick and died there the 31 January and is buried in the Osbaldwick churchyard across the road.

In a surviving letter to her aunt from 3 Februarya young Lister explains "My library is my greatest pleasure The Grecian History had pleased me much. She inherited Shibden Hall on her aunt's death inbut took charge of it from[14] and from it drew a reasonable income some of it from tenants. In addition to income from the agricultural tenancy, Lister's financial portfolio included properties in town, shares in the canal and railway industries, mining, and stone quarries. Lister used the income from this varied portfolio to finance her two passions, Shibden Hall and European travel.

Although Lister had met her on various occasions in the s, Ann Walkerwho by had become a wealthy heiress, took on a much more substantial role in Lister's life.

anne lister diaries translated

The church has been described as "an icon for what is interpreted as the site of the first lesbian marriage to be held in Britain", and the building now hosts a commemorative blue plaque.

Walker's fortune was used to improve Shibden Hall and the property's waterfall and lake. She also had a tunnel dug under the building which allowed the staff to move about without disturbing her. Throughout her life, Lister had a strong Anglican faith [21] and also remained a Tory"interested in defending the privileges of the land-owning aristocracy". Lister greatly enjoyed travel, although her biographer Angela Steidele suggests her trips in later life were also a way to "evade the self realisation that she had failed at everything she set her hand to".

She travelled with her year-old aunt, also called Anne Lister, on a two-month trip to France. In she returned to Paris and stayed until the following year. Only in did she return to Shibden Hall. She left for the continent once more in Anne, whose family owned the Shibden Hall estate which is now open to the public, broke the Georgian and early Victorian mould by taking charge of land and business interests, dressing in masculine clothes, travelling extensively and refusing to marry a man.

These 19 Yorkshire locations appear in Gentleman Jack. Instead, she seduced women - many of them upper-class ladies such as Ann Walker, the companion she considered her 'wife' until her death.

Viewers of Gentleman Jack - which premiered last weekend - have already been captivated by Suranne Jones's portrayal of unconventional heiress Anne Lister.

Anne Lister

In the drama, Anne has made coy references to her journals, in which both her friends and enemies were committed to paper. In the first episode, she tells Ann Walker, a fellow heiress from the neighbouring Crow Nest estate, about them.

The tragic fate of Anne Lister's 'wife' Ann Walker. Anne Lister really did keep extensive diaries, many of them written in a code of her own devising to disguise private musings on her same-sex romantic encounters.

Anne Lister and Mariana Belcombe (Lawton) - The end of the affair

Christa Ackroyd: This is what Anne Lister can teach us about life. They were hidden behind a wall panel in Shibden Hall after Anne died aged 49 while travelling in eastern Europe - but are now available to read online thanks to an archive project.

anne lister diaries translated

Anne's diaries consisted of over four million words. She began recording her thoughts inand by the time she died in there were 26 volumes. One sixth of the content is encrypted in code, including many of the passages describing her lesbian affairs. The diaries also deal with social, political and economic topics. The last Lister to inhabit Shibden Hall, John, found the diaries and managed to decipher their contents. A friend advised him to burn them, but he hid them again instead, and they were not re-discovered until his death inwhen the house was donated to Calderdale Council.

High-quality digital images of the pages are now online as part of the West Yorkshire Archive Service's resource. Gentleman Jack director Sally Wainwright has supported the project.

Inthe diaries resurfaced, and local woman Helena Whitbread, who was trying to launch a new career as a writer, decided to study them. InJohn Lister had died and the journals were gifted to Halifax Library. A friend, Arthur Burrell, who had helped him to decipher them, gave the library details of the code's cipher, before burning his own copy. Helena was then first person to tackle the entire collection of writings and transcribe them.

It took her five years, working on 50 pages each weekend. News you can trust since Sign in Edit Account Sign Out. By Grace Newton. Sign up. Thanks for signing up! Sorry, there seem to be some issues. Please try again later. What's On. Yorkshire Heritage. Country and Farming.I tell her it is all her money which is in the way. The fact is, she is as she was before [i.

But [I need to] take someone with more mind and less money. Steph [Belcombe — i.

How frail is nature. How weak are all our purposes. Oh, what a falling-off in me this morning. I have no confidence in myself, no strength to help myself — but I will not despair. Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.

I am resolved not to let my life pass without some private memorial that I may hereafter read, perhaps with a smile, when Time has frozen up the channel of those sentiments which flow so freely now. I am pleased that I have kept my accounts so correctly. It is not meet for me. I owe a good deal to this journal. She was the character I had long wished to meet with, to clear up my doubts whether such a one existed nowadays.


I am not made like any other I have seen. I dare believe myself to be different from any others who exist. I shall have a good fling before then.

Four years. And in the meantime I shall make my avenae communes, my wild oats common. I shall domiciliate then.

Gentleman Jack: This is how you can read Anne Lister's saucy diaries online

I seemed to have opened my heart to an old friend. I can tell my journal what I can tell none else. It was my journal that frightened people. She had made up her mind not to open her lips before me. I spoke against a classical education for ladies in general.Anne Lister's X-rated journals have revealed the sexual adventures of the 19th-century gentlewoman known as Britain's first modern lesbian.

She was woman way ahead of her time, an aristocrat and businesswoman who relished showing top-hatted 19th-century men that she was their match. Anne Lister dressed in black - unheard of for women at the time - spoke in a deep voice and described herself as a gentleman, leading to her nickname, Gentleman Jack.

Even Anne, though, knew that the diaries she had written throughout her life, describing in explicit detail her sexual encounters with other women, was far too outrageous for straight-laced Georgian society. So the highly intelligent noblewoman wrote most of them in a secret code, using a combination of algebra and Ancient Greek.

Anne Lister – Diary Transcription Project

The writings reveal how, as well as being an astute businesswoman who managed a country estate and had a property portfolio and shares in local industries, she was also a compulsive and accomplished seductress. Most of the woman with whom she had affairs were married or betrothed to men, but according to her diaries few of the women she courted refused her advances.

One occasion she describes is while visiting some female friends during the winter ofwhen by the end of her stay year-old Anne and flirted with four women and gone to bed with three of them. A cross meant an orgasm then she had a curly Q to mark a specially satisfactory sex session. Her father had been a soldier in the American War of Independence and her family, one of the most prominent in the town, owned the famous Shibden Hall estate, dating from the 15th century.

As a result of the deaths of her four brothers, she inherited the family seat in aged 35, eventually restoring and renovating the house and landscaping the grounds. By then, Lister had experienced at least four serious lesbian love affairs and an untold number of one-night stands. She met her first love, Eliza Raine, at 15 while boarding at Manor House School in York, where the two girls shared an attic bedroom called the Slope.

It was around this time that Anne began her diary, in which she recorded her most private thoughts, which eventually amounted to 27 volumes and over four million words. She met her next love at 19, Isabella 'Tib' Norcliffe, but dumped her for a friend Isabella had herself introduced her to, Mariana Belcombe, who would become a lifelong on-off lover.

Helena said that with no other other role models at the time, Anne had the difficult task of deciding for herself what being lesbian should mean.

She said: "She had to construct her sexuality by herself. She searched for people like her in literature. Then she found a satire by 1st century Roman poet Juvenal which alluded to it. And despite the taboos, she managed to charm herself into high society and impressed in the exclusively male world of business and industry, even opening and managing a colliery - unheard of for a gentlewoman. Aged 45, Anne decided to settle down at Shibden Hall with her new partner, Ann Walker, who owned the adjoining estate and had just inherited a large fortune, and the couple began to live openly as a couple.Anne Lister loved women.

Born in to a military family, she later inherited Shibden Hall, two miles outside of Halifax, and knew that she needed a wife. She began courting a wealthy single woman called Ann Walker, gave her a wedding ring, and had their union blessed in church. They had already sworn their love for each other on the Bible in a little thatched summer house on the Shibden estate. When they were married, Ann Walker moved into Shibden Hall and redecorated their bedroom.

X does not stand for kiss in the Anne Lister diaries — it records her separate and shared orgasms. That concealment was necessary. Erotic intensity between women was not taken seriously in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries — sometimes it was encouraged as a prelude to marriage, and in any case women often shared a bed, so much so that a husband would not think it odd to vacate the marital bed when a special friend arrived on a visit.

To act like a man was taboo for a woman. Anne Lister did not really think of herself as acting like a man — simply she wanted to be independent, free-thinking, and crucially, to share her life with another woman.

But such a conscious understanding of herself, and her premeditated frank desires towards other woman would — and did- get her into trouble. She had never been interested in men. Her first lover was a schoolgirl, and her success with both single and married women, makes it clear that she was a women of great charm.

She enjoyed lovers in London and Paris, and found no shortage of flirtations in Yorkshire. On her travels she spotted women she liked the look of, and wooed them. Like any other Regency rake, she pursues women and she gets them. When she inherited the acre Shibden Hall inAnne Lister was lonely. Anne Lister was broken-hearted and disgusted.

She wrote of the marriage as legalised prostitution. Yet the two women continued to be lovers for around five years, until Mariane broke off the relationship after a tumultuous weekend in Scarborough. People were beginning to talk…. When she took on local coal-mining interests, and opened her own pit in direct competition with the macho-men of Halifax, effigies of herself and her wife Ann Walker were burnt in the town. Money and class had allowed her to escape too much trouble up till then, but the moment Ann Lister stopped living like a landed, if eccentric, gentlewoman, and starting living like a man — competing openly for wealth, — her sexuality was brutally used against her.

Gentleman Jack, they called her. It is to her credit that she did not give up. That sense of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her modern to us. She was a woman exercising conscious choice.See how we give brands and retailers the opportunity to generate and syndicate more authentic content faster and easier than anyone else in the industry. Call Us : 312-447-6100 or 844-231-7540 (Toll Free U. Why Us Request a Demo Call Us : 312-447-6100 or 844-231-7540 (Toll Free U.

anne lister diaries translated

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