Anne Lister diary transcriptions Anne Lister's diary 1828 Anne Lister's diary June 1828

Friday 27 June 1828

1 40/60

Had a motion in quarter hour then went to Miss MacL to say we would stay here today. Got into bed to her and staid till eleven not daring to go near her but with my right middle finger up and handling her well. She said she thought we should have quarrelled last night. She would have been obliged to do so. Unjust suspicions bad to bear. Rallied her out of this and made her more easy with me than ever, she yielding as if she had no dislike. Asked if she loved me. Yes, too well. On leaving her got into my own bed for twenty and incurred a cross thing of her.

Breakfast at 12½. At 1½ sat down to write & from then to 6¼ wrote out the journals of Tuesday, Wednesday, yesterday & so far of today. Very fine day. Very warm. From 6¾ to 8 wrote 3 pages & the ends to Mariana. Account of our journey from the time of leaving Dunbarton & saying I hoped Miss McL- would return with me under promise to stay with my aunt, which would leave me at liberty in the spring. Dinner at 8¼. From 9¼ to 11½ wrote 3 pages & the ends to my aunt mentioning that I thought I could, if my aunt liked, manage to get Miss McL- to go to her about 1st October while I stayed at Shibden to plant etc. All rates I hoped to take Miss McL- back with me. Sure my aunt would like her. Her [docility] would be a comfort to my aunt. If she went & I stayed behind till the end of November or beginning of December my aunt had best keep our present apartment six months longer, but to let me hear her opinion in a letter to [Drumfi…?]. Then wrote to Mr Briggs to tell him to send the ½ yearly account to me at [Drumfi…?] &c. To tell Mr F- it would be some weeks before my return home, but I would pay him £100 with interest up to the day & might perhaps be able to pay the whole sum. That I meant to make some advance upon Hemmingway’s rent but Mr B- might mention it, or not, at present, as he thought best. Came upstairs at 11 40/60.

‘Yes or No,’ by Charles Dana Gibson, 1905
MCAD Library, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Staid talking to her in her room till near one. Told of Mr Simmons of Manchester examining me. Hint as if an operation might have been performed which might enable me to give more satisfaction to those with whom I had connection. Then the account of my first visit to Dupuytren, saying I had mentioned myself as tho I had been Marianna so that I could not forget my story. Told the queer questions he asked me but not owning to his having examined me, tho said Mr Simmons had. Then told of being near a man and woman in copulation (Mr D and Miss Marsh, they thought me asleep). On coming to my room near one wrote the last 14 lines of today. Very fine day.

I’d love to know what people think about Anne’s hints about ‘an operation… which might enable me to give more satisfaction to those with whom I had connection.’ Please comment here or on Twitter or Facebook.

You can read the original diary entry here:


20 thoughts on “Friday 27 June 1828

  1. “Hint as if an operation might have been performed ” – this sounds to me like there wasn’t actually an operation performed, more that Anne wants Sibella to think that there was. It reminded me of these entries and I wonder if this is the sort of idea that she is referring to, trying to pull the clitoris (but actually the cervix) down to make a small “penis”:

    9 May 1825
    “Could not sleep last night. Then began putting up my left middle finger to bring down the clitoris, wishing it to come so as to be able to copulate with women. Just felt it, which is more than I ever did before.”
    10 May
    “Awoke at seven, lay dawdling. After eight began putting up my left middle finger see the first line of yesterday. It hurt me less than ever before but yet gave no pleasure and I did not incur a cross after all. I felt the end of the clitoris but it did not seem to come down much and it was all that I could do to reach in, and pushing myself down as much as I could. I felt pain across the top region of the stomach just under the thorax.”

    1. Thanks for sharing these extracts. Fascinating! It’s sad that Anne had to seek out medical and ancient texts to find out about her own anatomy, and even then she did not always get the correct information.

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