Gentleman Jack has given us a brilliant glimpse into the life of Anne Lister. But what happened to her after the show?
BBC One and HBO’s Gentleman Jack tells the fascinating story of Anne Lister, who unbelievably, is regarded as one of the very first ‘modern’ lesbians.
The series, which is based on Lister’s extensive diaries and clearly takes inspiration from Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, focuses primarily on her love affairs but doesn’t shy away from the confident and charismatic character Anne Lister was during her life’s exploits.
But what happened to her after the first series of the show?
Who was Anne Lister?
Anne Lister is a famed diarist whose writings, over four-million words worth, have been turned into the series Gentleman Jack.
The Halifax-born woman was always seen as unconventional throughout her life in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
Even from an early age, Lister – who was a tomboy as a child – caused trouble at home and at school.
Despite that, she was desperately clever and had ambitions to learn as much as possible.
Lister earned the moniker Gentleman Jack because of her dress, she often wore very masculine clothing that was almost always black.
Sadly, Lister received a good deal of abuse as a result, as well as for her ambitions which were seen as very much above her station at the time.
Her diaries have been found to contain everything from her musings about the weather, to financial matters and politics.
However, the most noteworthy element to her writing was that around 1/6 of it was written in a secret code and a lot of this described her forbidden love affairs with other women, something that was very much frowned upon in society at the time.
What happened to her after the events of Gentleman Jack?
A second season of Gentleman Jack has been commissioned by BBC One so we can expect to see Anne Lister back on our screens once series one comes to an end.
Lister was renowned for an extensive amount of travelling. In series one of Gentleman Jack, we’ve seen her in plenty of foreign locations and that’s definitely something that didn’t stop later on in her life.
She was a hugely ambitious person and literally climbed mountains to achieve her goals.
In 1830 she became the first woman ever to scale the Monte Perdido mountain in the Spanish Pyrenees and later returned in 1838 to complete the first ever official climb of Vignemale.
Arguably more important than that though, Lister and her lover Ann Walker became the first lesbian couple ever to be married in Britain after taking communion together at the Holy Trinity Church in Goodramgate.
Lister tragically died of fever at the age of 49 in Kutaisi Georgia, as she and Ann Walker travelled through Eastern Europe and Russia.
We’ll no doubt get to see a bit more of Lister’s life when Gentleman Jack returns for its second season.
In the meantime, Gentleman Jack is currently being shown on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm with three episodes of series one still yet to air.