Anne Lister (3 April 1791 – 22 September 1840) was an English landowner, diarist, mountaineer, and traveller from Halifax, West Yorkshire. Throughout her life, she kept diaries that chronicled the details of her daily life, including her lesbian relationships, her financial concerns, her industrial activities, and her work improving Shibden Hall. Her diaries contain more than 4 million words and about a sixth of them — those concerning the intimate details of her romantic and sexual relationships — were written in code. The code, derived from a combination of algebra and Ancient Greek, was deciphered in the 1930s. Lister is often called “the first modern lesbian” for her clear self-knowledge and openly lesbian lifestyle. Called “Fred” by her lover and “Gentleman Jack” by Halifax residents, she suffered harassment for her sexuality, but recognised her similarity to the Ladies of Llangollen, whom she visited. Anne Lister was the second child and eldest daughter of Jeremy Lister (1753–1836), who as a young man in 1775 served with the British 10th Regiment of Foot in the Battles of Lexington and Concord in the American War of Independence.
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