Yesterday, BBC 2 released details about their forthcoming drama based on the life of Anne Lister, including the working title, which unfortunately is not Anne Lister: Original Lez. Instead, the BBC has given the project the properly titillating title The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister.
Maxine Peake will star as Anne Lister, about whom Peake said:
Anne Lister is considered by many to be the first modern lesbian. She was a contemporary of Jane Austen, and while Jane was penning biting social critique that frowned on single women riding in open carriages with men, or, you know, talking about their feelings, Anne Lister was compiling a four million word diary.
Let me say that again: Four. million. word. diary.
And it wasn’t all business and philosophy, either. Lister’s diaries are full of tales of love and seduction, and some of it was written in a code that has only recently been deciphered.
Here are some excerpts:
(Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy weren’t even allowed to hold hands!)
Lister eventually even married a wealthy heiress, Ann Walker. In addition to being a professional lesbian, Lister was a scholar, a philanthropist, a landowner and a world-traveler. You know, standard lesbian over-achiever stuff.
When The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister airs next spring, it will be preceded by an hour-long documentary about Lister’s life, presented by openly gay comedy writer Sue Perkins.
I’ve got one more quote from Lister’s diaries, and this one is going to hook you.
OK, show of hands: Who will be tuning in for The Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister?