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Let’s take it back to 2019 — we were living in a pre-pandemic world, 2020 political campaigns were well underway, and to escape the hustle and bustle of the day, we checked out a new period drama that hit HBO and ran away with a dedicated following. Gentleman Jack, a British period drama set in the 1800s, was met with swaths of praise upon its premiere. The series follows the real-life story of Anne Lister, a landowner and diarist who is regarded as “the first modern lesbian.” Roughly three years after its inaugural season, the delightful, enlightening show finally returns on April 25, and there’s no better way to mark the occasion than getting your hands on a copy of the diary entries that inspired the series.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister is captivating, riveting, and sexy. Originally written in her own special coded language, Lister’s journals were eventually de-coded and transcribed for the world to read. What the diaries revealed was a bold, brash woman who lived her own life with total gusto. More importantly, Lister’s relationships with women were finally revealed, marking a major turning point in lesbian history.
Decades after the first copies of Lister’s diaries were published, Gentleman Jack came along. The series, starring Suranne Jones as the one and only Miss Lister, chronicles the latter half of Lister’s life. By this point, Lister is well known throughout Halifax. Collecting land tax, fashioning waistcoats, and walking with a confidence all her own — Lister is a force to be reckoned with. But when she meets Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle), Lister falls for the meek young woman, who returns Lister’s affection.
Inspired by Lister’s diaries and partly based on Female Fortune and Nature’s Domain by Jill Liddington, Gentleman Jack invites audiences into Lister’s business affairs, relationship with Walker, and so much more. Before season 2 officially arrives on April 25, order a copy of her de-coded diaries now on Amazon. For any fan of Gentleman Jack, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister is a must-have for your bookshelf.
Before you go, click here to see which books you should read based on your last binge-watch.