Not another Gentleman Jack fan site?
Well, maybe, but I hope this is a little more than that. This document (i.e. this whole site) grew out of the notes I made before my first trip to Calderdale to see as many Ann(e)-related places I could find: houses, churches, filming locations, etc., and it has become the depository for everything I've learned. I make no apology that my interest in Anne was sparked by watching Gentleman Jack; I had never heard of Anne Lister before.
After visiting York, Halifax, Shibden, Lightcliffe and the surrounding country I found that I wanted to find out more about some of the people & places that made up Anne's (and Ann's) world - along with anything Yorkshire and anything Regency. And so the obsession was born.
I am a (huge) GJ fan, but, no, actually I don't think that this is a fan site. What I've tried to do is pull together information on the real world of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the early 19th century - its people & places - and how they parallel the stories presented by the diaries and by Sally Wainwright's wonderful script. My episode-by-episode review of Gentleman Jack is here.
I've done very little primary research: this document is based on the hard work of others (some sources listed here). This means that inevitably some errors will be reproduced, and I've no doubt introduced some of my own - but I have at least tried to verify many of the "facts" before repeating them. I relied heavily on the transcribed letters and diary entries in the marvellous books by Helena Whitbread, Jill Liddington, Patricia Hughes and Anne Choma - although I always try to go back to the original documents to see for myself.
This is not a scholarly or academic document, but I want it to be as accurate as I can make it. I'm definitely no historian or genealogist, but tracing the various characters and events in Anne and Ann's universe continues to be fascinating, frustrating, and extremely enjoyable. If I'm wrong on any point, please let me know using this form.
I have also not tried to analyse Anne Lister's sexuality, character, politics or attitudes. There are many erudite works focussed on Anne from the point of view of Political, Anthropological, Feminist, Women's, Queer and Social Studies, etc. I'm not knowledgeable in any of these fields, so am happy to leave the analysis to the experts. I occasionally use the word "lesbian", but only as a reference to romantic or sexual relationships between women - not as a label. I do think that Anne Lister was a most remarkable person, and personally I admire her & what she achieved immensely - but beyond that I'm not qualified to comment.
I've tried to stick to some conventions throughout the site:
- "Anne", when appearing without qualification (e.g. "Aunt Anne", etc.) always refers to our Anne Lister
- Likewise, "Ann" is always our Ann Walker
- "GJ" is Gentleman Jack, the television series as broadcast in the UK by the BBC
Links and quotations from various sources are formatted as follows:
- "plain text from the diaries"
- "coded text from the diaries"
- "the GJ script"
- "other external sources"
- internal links
- external links (sometimes indicated by)