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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

not-for-profit - a workers'co-op - committed to social justice | 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY - 0151 708 7270

The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister

by Anne Lister, edited by Helena Whitbread - £9.99  Little, Brown Book Group (Virago Press) (2010)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781844087198 | ISBN 10: 1844087190

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)

(Price & availability last checked: January 2019)

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In booklists: Lesbian Lives & Histories,
In categories: Feminism & Women, History & Biography, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexuality & Transgender,

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