Anne Lister research resources

Anne Lister’s diaries, travel notes and letters are held by West Yorkshire Archives in Halifax Central Library. You can find them with the reference “SH”.

For more information, see West Yorkshire Archive Service Record

Books on Anne Lister in order of publication:

  1. Helena Whitbread, Ed. (1988). I Know My Own Heart: The Diaries of Anne Lister 1791- 1840. Virago, 1988, and New York University Press, 1990. (Covers diaries from 1817 to 1824).
  2. Helena Whitbread, Ed. (1992). No Priest But Love: The Journals of Anne Lister from 1824 - 1826, Smith Settle. Reprinted in 2020 as The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister Vol 2: No Priest But Love. Virago.
  3. Muriel Green (1992). Miss Lister of Shibden Hall: Selected Letters (1800 -1840), The Book Guild. (Out of print).
  4. Jill Liddington (1994). Presenting the Past: Anne Lister of Halifax 1791 – 1840. Pennine Pens. Reprinted 2010, 2019 and 2022.
  5. Jill Liddington (1998). Female Fortune: Land, Gender and Authority: the Anne Lister diaries and other writings, 1833-36. Rivers Oram Press. Reprinted 2010 and 2018.
  6. Jill Liddington (2003). Nature’s Domain: Anne Lister and the Landscape of Desire. Pennine Pens. (Covers diaries 1832 – 1833).
  7. Helena Whitbread (2010). The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister. (An updated version of 1988, I Know My Own Heart). Virago. Reprinted again in 2019 with new cover.
  8. Patricia Hughes (2015). The Early Life of Miss Anne Lister and the Curious Tale of Miss Eliza Raine. Hues Books Ltd. Reprinted 2019.
  9. Patricia Hughes (2017). Anne Lister’s Secret Diary for 1817. Hues Books Ltd.
  10. Angela Clare (2018). Anne Lister of Shibden Hall. Calderdale Museums. (Short overview of Anne Lister’s life, diaries and legacy at Shibden Hall)
  11. Angela Steidele (2018). Gentleman Jack, a Biography of Anne Lister. Serpent’s Tail.
  12. Anne Choma (2019). Gentleman Jack, BBC Books.
  13. Clara Barley (2019). The Moss House, Bluemoose Books. (A novel)
  14. Adeline Lim (2021). In the Footsteps of Anne Lister, Volume 1.
  15. Adeline Lim (2022). In the Footsteps of Anne Lister, Volume 2.

  16. Jill Liddington (2023). As Good as a Marriage: The Anne Lister Diaries 1836-38. Manchester University Press.

  17. Emma Donoghue (2023- forthcoming). Learned by Heart. Little, Brown and Company. (A novel).

  18. Caroline Gonda and Chris Roulston (editors) (2023- forthcoming) Decoding Anne Lister: From the Archive to Gentleman Jack. Cambridge University Press.

  • Emma Donoghue, I Know My Own Heart [a 1993 play loosely adapted from Helena Whitbread’s 1998 book of the same name, with permission], published in Seen and Heard: Six New Plays by Irish Women, ed. by Cathy Leeney (Dublin: Carysfort Press, 2001) and collected in Emma Donoghue: Selected Plays (London: Oberon Books, 2015).
  • Ross McGregor, ‘Gentleman Jack’ [adapted from the diaries] (Arrows and Traps theatre company in London at the Brockley Jack Studio, 2019)

Film and Television

  • BBC 2 A Skirt Through History - Anne Lister, broadcast on 6 May 1994.
  • BBC Documentary The Real Anne Lister, presented by Sue Perkins 2010.
  • BBC Drama The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, written by Jane English starring Maxine Peake as Anne 2010.
  • Calderdale Museums Shibden Hall promotional film by Aberration Films. ‘Visit Shibden’, funded by Arts Council England. 2015.
  • Calderdale Museums filmed interview with Helena Whitbread by Limehouse TV. ‘The Anne Lister Story.’ A 25-minute documentary for showing in the Hall and a one-minute trailer for website, funded by Arts Council England. 2016.
  • Channel 4 production ‘Britain’s Great Gay Buildings’ presented by Stephen Fry. Featuring Shibden Hall with an interview of Helena Whitbread by Mary Portas. 2017.
  • Sky Arts production- interview with Sally Wainwright- filmed at Shibden Hall. 2018.
  • BBC Antiques Road Trip, series 18, episode 23. 2019.
  • BBC and HBO Gentleman Jack TV series by Sally Wainwright. Series 1. 2019 and Series 2, 2022.
  • Channel 5, Susan Calman’s Grand Day Out, 2022.
  • The Helena Whitbread Story, 2023. Calderdale Museums commissioned interview with biographer Helena Whitbread, filmed and edited by Limehouse TV.


  • BBC Radio 4s Gentleman Jack of Halifax, broadcast on 2 October 1993.
  • Mary Cooper, Such Sweet Possession for BBC Radio 4 (2002), also available from Audible as an audiobook.
  • BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour (6th November 2009). ‘The First Modern Lesbian’. Jenny Murray interviews Helena Whitbread and Jill Liddington.
  • BBC Radio 4 two-part series on a history of Homosexuality in Britain (2017). Interview with Helena Whitbread at Shibden Hall.

  1. Anderson, Olive (1995). 'Historian' Notebook - The Anne Lister Papers', History Workshop Journal, Issue 40, 1995, p.190ff.
  2. Bailey, Rosemary, (2005). The Man who Married a Mountain, chapter 10 is on Anne Lister’s Vignemale ascent.
  3. Brears, Peter (1978). 'John Harper at Shibden: a gothick lady and her architect', York Historian II, 1978, p 56ff.
  4. Brothers, Hazel (1996). 'Framing the Shibden Hall Portraits: A Commission Fulfilled by Anne Lister during an Awkward Stay in London, 1833', Transactions of Halifax Antiquarian Society, 4, pp.1 10-125.
  5. Brothers, Hazel (1997). 'A New Portrait of Anne Lister', Halifax Antiquarian Society Newsletter, 48, January 1997.
  6. Clark, Anna (1996). 'Anne Lister's Construction of Lesbian Identity' in Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol 7, no.1, 1996. pp. 23-50.
  7. Clark, Anna (2017). Alternative Histories of the Self A Cultural History of Sexuality and Secrets, 1762–1917. Bloomsbury Academic 2017, chapter 3.
  8. Choma, Anne (1994). Anne Lister and the Split Self (1791 - 1840), MA, University of Leeds, 1994. Research for a Ph.D. at University of Leeds: 'Representations of Self in the Diaries of Anne Lister (1791 - 1840)'.
  9. DeBoer, Lisa. (1995). Female gentlemen and lesbian ladies: the hidden lesbians in the diaries of Anne Lister. Thesis (M.A.)–Sarah Lawrence College, 1995.
  10. Eisner, Caroline L., (2001). “Shifting the Focus: Anne Lister as a Pillar of Conservatism.” a/b: Auto/Biographical Studies 17: 28–42.
  11. Emma Donoghue, 'Liberty in Chains: The Diaries of Anne Lister (1817-24),' in Breaking the Barriers to Desire (Nottingham: Five Leaves Press, 1995)
  12. Emma Donoghue,  ‘Anne Lister’,  in Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, ed. by Bonnie Zimmerman (New York and London: Garland, 2000)
  13. Euler, Catherine, (1995). Moving Between Worlds: Gender, Class, Politics, Sexuality and Women's Networks in the Diaries of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire, 1830 - 1840, D.Phil., University of York, 1995.
  14. Frangos, Jennifer E. (1994). “I love and only love the fairer sex”: performativity and the forging of a lesbian identity in the diaries of Anne Lister (1791-1840). Thesis (MA) State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994.
  15. Green, Muriel (1970). A Spirited Yorkshirewoman: The Letters of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, Thesis (Honours Diploma), Library Association, 1939.
  16. Green, Muriel (1936). 'A Woman in advance of her times'. Halifax Courier & Guardian.
  17. Halberstam, Jack (2018). Female Masculinity, Duke University Press (originally 1998; new edition with updated Lister discussion in afterword, 2018).
  18. Ingham, Vivien, M. (1968). 'Anne Lister's Ascent of Vignemale', The Alpine Journal, lxxiii, no. 317, Nov. 1968 p.199ff.
  19. Ingham, Vivien, M. (1969). 'Anne Lister in the Pyrenees',1969, p. 55ff. Halifax Antiquarian Society.
  20. Kendall, M. E. (1950). 'Miss Lister's Diary Extracts and Comments', Transactions of Halifax Antiquarian Society, pp. 69-81.
  21. Lanser, Susan S. (2010). "Tory Lesbians: Economies of Intimacy and the Status of Desire", in John C. Beynon and Caroline Gonda, eds, Lesbian Dames: Sapphism in the Long Eighteenth Century (Ashgate, 2010), 173-90.
  22. Lang, David M. (1989). 'Anne Lister in the Caucasus', 1989, p. 47ff. Halifax Antiquarian Society
  23. Lang, David M. (1990). 'Georgia in 1840: The Lister Diaries', Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, vol. liii, pt.1, 1990.
  24. Lang, David M., 'Anne Lister' in Dictionary of National Biography - Missing Persons Volume, Oxford University Press.
  25. Liddington, Jill (1993). 'Re-reading the Correspondence', THAS, 1993. Halifax Antiquarian Society.
  26. Liddington, Jill (1993). 'Anne Lister of Shibden Hall (1791 - 1840): Her Diaries and The Historians', History Workshop Journal, Issue 35, 1993, p. 45ff.
  27. Liddington, Jill (1995). 'Beating the Inheritance Bounds: Anne Lister (1791-1840) and her Dynastic Identity', Gender & History vol 7. No 2, August, 1995, p. 260ff.
  28. Liddington, Jill (1996). 'Gender, Authority and Mining in an Industrial Landscape: Anne Lister 1791 - 1840', History Workshop Journal, Issue 42, 1996, p. 59ff.
  29. Mavor, E. (1988). 'Gentleman Jack of Halifax', London Review of Books, 4 February, 1988.
  30. McHugh, Kirsty (2018). Sightseeing, social climbing, steamboats and sex: Anne Lister’s 1828 tour of Scotland, Studies in Travel Writing, 22:4, 420-435
  31. McHugh, Kirsty, & Edwards, Elizabeth (eds) (2018). ‘Anne Lister’s Diary, Tour of North Wales 11–27 July 1822.’ = 0023.xml.
  32. Millward, Pauline (1992). Article in Ad Lib, Calderdale Libraries' magazine 1992.
  33. Moore, Lisa (1992). '"Something More Tender Still than Friendship": Romantic Friendship in Early-Nineteenth-Century England', Feminist Studies Vol. 18, No. 3, The Lesbian Issue (Autumn, 1992), pp. 499-520.
  34. Orr, Dannielle (2006). A sojourn in Paris 1824-25: sex and sociability in the manuscript writings of Anne Lister (1791-1840). Thesis (Ph.D.)–Murdoch University, 2007.
  35. Ramsden, Phyllis (1970). 'The Journal of Anne Lister (1817-1840) - (An Unusual and Contemporary Record)', 1970, p. 1ff.
  36. Richardson, S. (1995). Independence and Deference: The West Riding Electorate, 1832 - 1841, Ph.D., University of Leeds, 1995.
  37. Richardson, S. (1996). 'The Role of Women in Electoral Politics in Yorkshire During the Eighteen-thirties', Northern History, vol 32, 1996.
  38. Roulston, Chris (2013). "The Revolting Anne Lister: the U.K.'s First Modern Lesbian." The Journal of Lesbian Studies: Revolting Bodies: Desiring Lesbians Special Issue, 17:3-4 (Spring 2013): 267-278.
  39. Roulston, Chris (2018). "Marriage and Its Queer Identifications in the Anne Lister Diaries." After Marriage in the Long Eighteenth Century: Literature, Law and Society. Eds. Karl Leydecker and Jenny DiPlacidi. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018: 181-203.
  40. Rowanchild, Anira (1999). My mind on paper: Anne Lister and literary self-construction in early-nineteenth-century Halifax. Thesis (PhD) Open University.
  41. Rowanchild, Anira (1999). 'Skirting the Margins: Anne Lister and Self-Representation in Early Nineteenth-Century Halifax' in Richard Johnson, David Shuttleworth, and Diane Watt (eds) (1999) De-Centering Sexualities: Politics and Representation Beyond the Metropolis, London: Routledge.
  42. Rowanchild, Anira (2000). ‘My Mind on Paper’ Anne Lister and the Construction of Lesbian Identity' in Alison Donnell and Pauline Polkey (eds) (2000) Representing Lives: Women’s Lives into Print, London: Macmillan.
  43. Rowanchild, Anira (2000). 'Anne Lister' in Margaretta Jolly (ed.) (2000) Encyclopedia of Life Writing, London: Fitzroy Dearborn.
  44. Rowanchild, Anira (2000). ‘Everything done for effect’; Georgic, Gothic and Picturesque in Anne Lister's Self-Production', Women's Writing, 2.
  45. Ulph, Cassandra (2019). “‘Under the Existing Rules’: Anne Lister and the Halifax Literary and Philosophical Society” Nineteenth-Century Literature, Vol. 73 No. 4, March 2019; (pp. 462-485)
  46. Valladares, Susan (2013). ‘An Introduction to the ‘Literary Person(s)’ of Anne Lister and the Ladies of Llangollen.’ Literature Compass 10 (3): 353–368.
  47. Ward, D (1984). 'The Two Million Word Enigma', The Guardian, 1984.
  48. Whitbread, Helena & Holme, Natasha (2016). Secret Diaries Past & Present. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

If you find any errors or would like to suggest new resources for this list, please email: