#AnneLister180: Celebrating Her Legacy

Anne_Lister_180_BLOG

#AnneLister180: Celebrating Her Legacy

Tuesday September 22nd 2020 marks 180 years since the death of Anne Lister of Shibden Hall, Halifax, Yorkshire.

Anne, who lived from 1791 to 1840, was a remarkable woman: landowner, entrepreneur, mountaineer, scholar, traveller, and lesbian. Her fascinating diaries of over five million words detailed her life, loves, health, business interests and politics. Her journals are so historically significant they have been inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. Anne Lister’s story now inspires people across the globe, following the international success of Sally Wainwright’s BBC/HBO TV show ‘Gentleman Jack’, which is based on Anne’s life and diaries, and was filmed here in Calderdale.

Like Anne, we respect science and experts, so will follow official advice on gatherings and safety in everything we do. This means that we won’t be able to celebrate her incredible legacy together in person as we’d hoped. But we can celebrate her together online, and we’ve put together a programme for you to participate in and enjoy digitally.

The centrepiece will be a memorial broadcast from Anne’s historic home of Shibden Hall on Tuesday 22nd September at 3.30pm UK time, which will be live streamed [details will be added here shortly]. You are invited to join us online to commemorate and give thanks for Anne’s life and legacy (there won’t be an actual physical event to participate in, given current restrictions.)

Other things to enjoy will include a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek into how Anne’s diaries were meticulously conserved by custodians in the West Yorkshire Archive Service, which will be posted here  – and you’ll be able to support the Archives by buying some limited-edition Anne-related treats.

Halifax’s magnificent Piece Hall, a Grade I-listed cloth hall dating from 1779, will be remembering Anne’s visits to the building online throughout the day on 22nd here. If you’d like to learn more about the heritage of this special place, The Piece Hall will also be running tours for masked-up small groups from 12-20th September, as part of the Halifax Heritage Festival – info here.

The atmospheric 900-year-old Halifax Minster was an important building to Anne, and her faith in God was central to her life. She was baptised, worshipped, and was buried there. The Minster are aiming to run tours and a livestreamed memorial service, depending on the situation at the time. Keep up to date here.

Libraries and learning were also important to Anne, and Calderdale Libraries will be hosting a free webinar on Monday 21st September at 3pm UK time on ‘The Gentleman Jack Effect’, examining Anne Lister’s impact on Calderdale with local experts. They will explore why Halifax and Calderdale are so important to Anne’s story, and share how we’ve collaborated locally to harness the ‘Gentleman Jack Effect’ and to offer a warm welcome to visiting fans. They’ll also consider next steps and examine how we can work creatively to develop this progress. Input, feedback and Q&As are welcomed in the session, join in here.

We’re also looking forward to the fan-led Anne Lister Research Summit, a free online conference 25-27 September for research enthusiasts.

We’re delighted that Anne’s story is now an international one, so we’d love to hear what Anne Lister and her legacy mean to you. Why not post a short video on social media giving us your answer to the questions below in a sentence or two and let us know where you’re posting from? Hashtag #AnneLister180, and tag in Visit Calderdale so we can find it and celebrate her together.

  • What do you love about Anne Lister?
  • What is your favourite Anne-related item or place?
  • Describe Anne Lister in one word?

And finally, if you’re missing us here in Calderdale, or are planning a future visit for a happier time, then take a look at this film, where we follow ‘Gentleman Jack’ fans Terry and Emma, who are having a lovely Anne Lister-themed holiday.

So thank you, Anne Lister, for everything you have given us. Your life was not long, but it was full. It was courageous, inspirational, and meaningful. We look forward to commemorating and celebrating your life and legacy together, with our friends across the globe.

 



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