The Real Anne Lister Blog

Anne Lister’s last diary entry (the cats got her cheese)

Anne Lister died on 22 September 1840, whilst travelling in present day Georgia (then Russia). She died tragically young of a fever possibly brought on by a tick bite. The last diary entry we have from her is for 11 August 1840. I’ve had a really hard time transcribing this diary entry, both because its just so sad and also because her handwriting is just so bad! I guess that’s understandable given that she was writing whilst travelling on a cart and camped out in barns at night! I just love how adventurous she was to go on this trip and have been delighted to read that she writes about it in her usual style (matter of fact, pedantic and somewhat scathing). I also love that despite being camped out in a barn she and Ann Walker ended the day by taking tea and coffee as they would at home.

Apologies that there are quite a few words that I just couldn’t make out or had to take an educated guess at.

The original diary page can be viewed here: https://www.catalogue.wyjs.org.uk/CalmView/GetImage.ashx?db=Catalog&type=default&fname=b2%5c87e94a-a2a1-4292-8801-8bbfef1e2df0.jpg

Please let me know if you can make out any words I couldn’t get, or you think I’ve transcribed anything incorrectly.

Thursday 11 August 1840

Awakened last night between 1 & 2, cats at my cheese & children squalling enough to distract the old gent himself. A- awoke me before 6 anxious to be off. She ordered the horses. She out of sorts. Terrible! Did a good job. So many [women?] & people knew not whom to give to. Gave nothing. The cottages so hid amid the trees & vines & 8 ft high maise hardly visible except when close up to them. Off at 6 50. The children especially & the men & women look pale & yellow & unhealthy in this moist, hot [bottom?].

At 7 35 Eugom[?]. Fine river nearish left, ascend highish (left bank) above it & go upwards along its broad boulder bedded islandy streamy course. Forever through lanes of alder & hazel, every now & then in [our eyes?]. Bits of deep mud every now and then.

At 8 ¼ at village of Dujani ie orchards, vine-covered trees, alders [?] [?] etc. The woods [chi…?] beach & next in quantity oak. At 8 20 close up the Eugom, then ascend again on higher ground always in the village of Dujani. No houses to be seen – all hid. Fine view viewing downwards amid lower green woodland [illegible], beautiful hills & upwards amid higher such hills. Beautiful valley. At 8 55 at the large beautiful [qua..?] green opposite village. In style of [Zujdich?] with several [picturesque?] goodish [galleried?] [sacks?] scattered around. Alight at one opposite (empty).

At 9 to breakfast. The [whi..?] [kupost?] [cast…?] on wooded ridge of hill almost hid among the wood. Close [over?] the river (left bank). Wrote so far till now 11 10 & of very nearly 21o. [Breakfast?] from 11 ¼ to 12 50 including a [tolerably?] [comfortable?] wash in the [back?].

Off at 1 ¾. At 2 50 out of our narrow lanes through tall bracken in the [bottom?] & passed this wood ([buck?] & Spanish chestnut & alder & walnut) & up steepish [mount?]. Good aspect & then fine view over rich [illegible] wooded plain & the old town of [pr..ce?] [Appakidzi?]. At the village of Satchina close left. Stop 5 mins under [illegible] lime tree for the men to get water.

Off again from Satchina at 2 55. Steepish [illegible] descent [illegible] wood again from [illegible], then up the hill & down & forded little stream & 2 or 3 [illegible] cottages.

At 3 ½ still the village of Satchina & [illegible] came 9 or 10 feet high. A village Sapeli & is a little district. At 3 35 ford good broadish stream the Inseeral & at 3 42 ford the Isleeah an equally good stream. Beautiful little green [c..y?] [valley?] among the rounded wooded hills & here & there [illegible] & [forest?] on the low hills. At 3 47 found the Isleeah again. Several more scattered cottages, still the village of Satchina.

At 4 10 the village of Nardoogee [illegible] at a little [illegible] left. At 4 18 in the bottom [of the cart?] & ford little stream & ascend after. At 4 40 put on mackintosh cloak. The rain not heavy but likely to continue. At 4 55 stop at wicker [herji?] [against?] [illegible] of [illegible] [illegible] said to be & village of Djkali though I see no [illegible] at all. The old [illegible] of Djeyali ([prince?] Martchar Dadian) [he?] lives at some [illegible] village. Cart deserted & empty? Beautiful group of valleys & rounded hills. Mingulia very beautiful & fine race of men eg our David & son others whom we have seen. All of my 3 men have left us to seek some food or some [illegible]. [Adam?] came back in ½ hour. A- had had an egg beaten up & I had the [illegible] off my horse & done up my mackintosh. David does not know the road. Got a man to go with us to the village. He now says it is 6 instead of 3 hours from here to [word missing] & 6 days from here to [Muni?]. Terrible! An hour lost here.

Off to the village Djkali at 6 5 & arrived at 6 ¾. 2 [sacks?]. Arrange ourselves in the [illegible] corn barn. A little wicker place perhaps 4 ¼ x 3 yards. Spread our [buscas?] on straw & now 8 25 I have [just] in it the last 9 lines.

High hills [illegible] & [illegible] ridges of wooded hills rising every now & then into little wooded conical summits. The sides of the hill [surrounded?] and little conical summits on the [ridges?] of the [illegible]. Tea & coffee at 8 25.

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