Anne Lister's Diaries, 1833-38: As good as a marriage?

Meet the historian whose book, 'Female Fortune: The Anne Lister Diaries 1833-36', inspired Sally Wainwright to write the TV drama Gentleman Jack (BBC1/HBO, 2019 and 2022).

Jill Liddington, author of Female Fortune, will be giving a talk to launch the sequel book, As Good As A Marriage: The Anne Lister Diaries 1836-38 (2023, MUP).

The daily life of Anne Lister

This book tracks the daily life of Anne Lister and Ann Walker living together at Shibden Hall, in a marriage understood to be binding. Lister's diaries are five million words long, with about one-sixth written in her secret code. This allows us to eavesdrop onto the intimate conversations between Anne and Ann. Was their relationship ‘as good as a marriage’? In the early-nineteenth century, what rights and freedoms did women in conventional marriages have?
Following a talk from Jill, we'll be hosting a Q&A, exploring the intimate worlds of same-sex relationships between women then, and how Lister's inherited landed status and religious beliefs enabled her to live a life of relative sexual freedom.

To celebrate the publication of this book, the talk will be followed by a drinks reception. You can read more about the book on the publisher’s website

About the speaker

Dr Jill Liddington is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies (CIGS), University of Leeds. A feminist historian, she has written on the Votes for Women campaigns and on Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax.

More information about Jill's significant contribution to women's history as a field can be found on her website and in her recent post for the CIGS blog.

This event is being run jointly between the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and the School of History's Women, Gender and Sexuality research cluster.

How to attend

Please reserve your place by completing this form with your information.

The location is in the Parkinson Building, Seminar Room 1.08.