Friday, 16 October 2009

BBC unveils drama about 'first modern lesbian'

The life and times of Anne Lister, the woman dubbed the first modern lesbian by scholars of sexuality and known as Gentleman Jack to her Yorkshire neighbours, is to be the subject of a lavish new costume drama.

Shameless star Maxine Peake, whose previous roles include Myra Hindley, is due to play the heroine in the one-off special for BBC Two. Filming of The Scandalous Diaries of Anne Lister is expected to get underway next month at the 19th century polymath’s former home Shibden Hall near Halifax which she shared with her “wife” - another local heiress called Anne Walker with whom she underwent a same-sex marriage ceremony.

Lister chronicled her pioneering life and wide-ranging travels as well as her relationships in an at times sexually charged four million word collection of diaries which she kept until her premature death in 1840 aged 51 after being bitten by an insect while travelling in the Caucasus Mountains. Read more
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