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."
"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."
(Price & availability last checked: January 2019)