The main purpose of this website is to present transcriptions Anne Lister’s journal in an uncut, largely unedited format for the edification and enjoyment of all those with an interest in this remarkable woman. (Why was she remarkable? See here.)

Due to the sheer volume of writing produced by Anne Lister over her lifetime (estimated to be 4 million words, or 6,600 pages), it has been necessary for published works containing transcriptions of Lister’s journals (details of these works here) to select only parts (albeit what were considered the most interesting or relevant parts) of what Lister wrote for inclusion. In fact, the majority of Lister’s journals have not been published. I’ve been left with a burning curiosity to read more, read Lister’s words in her own hand, discover more about her, read even the tedious details edited out of published works.

Since starting transcribing I’ve largely been focussing on a period of Anne Lister’s life that has not been covered in any of the published works: a tour she took of Scotland with Sibella Maclean from May to July 1828. If you want to read this sequence of journal entries in order start here.

Anne Lister & Sibella Maclean
Anne Lister timeline (and travel maps)

Interactive timeline and maps compiled by Amanda Pryce – explore Anne Lister’s life.

The Anne Lister Phenomenon

Why Anne Lister has so many modern day admirers?
How to read Anne Lister’s original journals

Where to find them online and tips on how to read them.

24 thoughts on “

  1. Hi. I believe Helena Whitbread managed to decode all of Anne Listers journals. She used the prime material for her books wouldnt she allow you the use of the decoded extra material rather than you having to painstakingly go through what has already been done?

    1. I wouldn’t think so. That’s years of her hard work, and she is still working on new material based on it, for example she’s currently working on a biography. I enjoy reading the original material anyway, feel closer to Anne Lister somehow doing it that way.

  2. What you describe, is what really fascinates me about AL – it is her sheer breadth of interests and intellectual rigour, simply staggering. I began life farming, then trained as a librarian before moving into Countryside Management, and latterly the media. I therefore sit on many fences of interest – plus an insatiable interest in real life historical stories that speak to us in the 21st Century – AL just ticks all these boxes that excite me. As a late discoverer of AL, her knowledge of geology I believe was superb, at a time when due to coal extraction this was becoming a mainstream science as they unearthed plant and fern fossils from the coal seams. And in doing so added challenges to recognised understanding of evolution and God. For me it’s simple things, her interest in ‘life’ – description of weather, clothing, medical, how people behaved, reading newly published garden magazines to develop Shibden – and more profound insights – AL’s election to the Halifax Lit and Phil – extraordinary given her sex (and what some though of her) – I wish I could walk with her across the landscape and just talk, just ask questions – why, how, when? AL of course left those answers in her legacy. Good luck with the transcribing, I eagerly await the next reveal…

    1. Yes! Everything you said, I agree. The books she read and the very dedicated way in which she read them in order to inform herself!

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