Book Reviews | March 2023 | Alex Johnson

New Edition of Anne Lister’s Diaries Published

Manchester University Press

As Good as a Marriage, The Anne Lister Diaries 1836-38 by Jill Liddington continues the story of the woman known as Gentleman Jack to millions of viewers of the HBO and BBC television series of the same name.

We reported in the winter issue of Fine Books & Collections on the diaries, the issues around deciphering Lister's coded entries, and how they were adapted for the small screen.

Liddington's new book published by Manchester University Press is the sequel to her previous Female Fortune and features her edited transcriptions of the diaries from 1836 to 1838, the period of Lister's life at her Shibden Hall home in Yorkshire after her unconventional 'marriage' to wealthy local heiress Ann Walker.

It looks at the couple's daily lives, both in a domestic setting and while Lister actively pursued her business and landowning interests.