The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister
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The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister

By (author) Anne Lister , Edited by Helena Whitbread

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These remarkable diaries are a piece of lost lesbian history. Anne Lister defied the role of womanhood seen in the novels of Jane Austen: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller - and lesbian. She kept extensive diaries, written partly in code, of her life and loves. The diaries have been edited by Helena Whitbread, who spent years decoding and transcribing them. '[Anne Lister's] sense of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her modern to us. She was a woman exercising conscious choice. She controlled her cash and her body. At a time when women had to marry, or be looked after by a male relative, and when all their property on marriage passed to their husband, Anne Lister not only dodged the traps of being female, she set up a liaison with another woman that enhanced her own wealth and left both of them free to live as they wished ...The diaries gave me courage' Jeanette Winterson 'Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of women' Sarah Waters

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  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 126 x 198 x 30mm | 340.19g
  • 01 Apr 2012
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Virago Press Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 1844087190
  • 9781844087198
  • 36,708

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Author Information

Anne Lister (1791-1840) was an English landowner, industrialist, and diarist. Helena Whitbread is a historian.

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Review quote

Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of women Sarah Waters [Anne Lister's] sense of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her modern to us. She was a woman exercising conscious choice. She controlled her cash and her body. At a time when women had to marry, or be looked after by a male relative, and when all t Jeanette Winterson The Lister diaries are the Dead Sea Scrolls of lesbian history: they changed everything. By resurrecting them and editing them with such loving attention and intelligence, Helena Whitbread has earned the gratitude of a whole generation Emma Donoghue

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