Image for The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne ListerNot currently available on BBC iPlayer

Duration: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Bold and passionate drama telling the story of Anne Lister, 1791-1840, a Yorkshire landowner, industrialist, traveller and diarist. She was a lesbian, who, despite needing to keep her orientation secret from society at large, in private defied the conventions of her times by living with her female lover.

Anne kept a detailed account of her life, her loves and her emotions in a fascinating and painfully honest 4,000,000-word journal. A sizeable portion was written in code, and the recent deciphering of the diaries provides an astonishing insight into the life of the woman who has been called Britain's first modern lesbian.

Last on

Thu 16 Feb 2012 02:00 BBC One

  • Photo: Anne, her Aunt and the Maid

    Photo: Anne, her Aunt and the Maid

    From left to right: Anne Lister (Maxine Peake), Aunt Lister (Gemma Jones) and Lister Maid (Jemma Foxtrot).

  • Photo: Anne and Ann

    Photo: Anne and Ann

    Anne had a love affair with a wealthy heiress, Ann Walker (Christine Bottomley).

  • Revealing Anne Lister

    Revealing Anne Lister

    This programme has an accompanying one-hour documentary, presented by Sue Perkins, telling the story of Lister and the decoding of her diaries.

    Go to the Revealing Anne Lister website
  • BBC TV Blog

    BBC TV Blog

    Head over to the BBC TV Blog to read how Jane English became the screenwriter of The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister.

    BBC TV Blog: Anne Lister's diaries - From page to screen


Anne Lister
Maxine Peake
Anna Madeley
Susan Lynch
Ann Walker
Christine Bottomley
Aunt Lister
Gemma Jones
Uncle Lister
Alan David
Mrs Priestley
Richenda Carey
Charles Lawton
Michael Culkin
Christopher Rawson
Dean Lennox Kelly
Miss Browne
Tina O'Brien
Rough Man
Ted Holden
Mrs Rawson
Tessa Peake-Jones
James Kent
Jane English


Buy online

Available on: DVD

From suppliers including: BBC Shop

Where to buy

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss