scholarship: anne lister (1791-1840)


via FWSA Blog:

When I made a casual visit to my local archives some three decades ago I was quite unprepared for what I found. My interest in Anne Lister had been sparked by the knowledge that extracts from her letters had been published some years ago in the local press. As I was looking for a subject around whom I could write a short article I decided to investigate the archival resources of the Lister family.

What I found, and subsequently published, has provided a new perspective on the subject of sex between women in a different era to that of our own, for Anne Lister was a lesbian who lived in a society that did not recognise a nature such as hers. She therefore had to devise ways and means whereby she could keep her sexuality secret while attempting to find another woman with whom she could share her life. Her journals tell the intimate story of that quest in addition to giving a fascinating and detailed account of life in the Georgian era as it was lived by people in a small English town during the early era of the Industrial Revolution. She also relates in detail her adventurous travels, her studies in Greek and Latin and her management of the Shibden estate. Her business acumen was as sharp, if not sharper than many of her male counterparts in her home town of Halifax.

Read on at FWSA…


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