TV UK TV

Secret Diaries Of Miss Anne Lister, The (BBC-2 2010, Maxine Peake)

Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister

Based on a real life story The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister is a revealing period drama set in the early nineteenth century telling the story of a woman who, at a time to do so meant risking becoming an outcast, lived her life on her own terms.

During her lifetime (Lister died in 1840) this strong willed Yorkshire woman was not only a noted traveller, industrialist and diary keeper she was also a lesbian and defied the conventions of the time by living with her female lover.

Over the years Lister committed four million words to her journals, much of it in code, and it is these diaries that form this basis for this ultimately moving drama. Despite being such a pioneering character Lister and her story isn’t as well known as it should be. As star Maxine Peake remarked “I do have a couple of lesbian friends who had heard of her through lesbian literature, but I hadn’t. It’s weird that it’s just been assigned to lesbian and gay literature; you think why is that, because it’s got broad appeal – especially as I think we’re lacking in positive female role models at the moment. If Anne wanted to do something she just went and did it – she’s truly inspirational.”

A strong drama with an equally strong cast worth watching on it’s own merits. There was an accompanying hour long documentary special called Revealing Anne Lister presented by Sue Perkins

production details
UK / BBC Two / 1×90 minute episode / Broadcast Monday 31 May 2010 @ 9.00pm

Writer: Jane English / Producer: Mark Bentley / Director: James Kent

cast
MAXINE PEAKE as Anne Lister
ANNA MADELEY as Marianna
SUSAN LYNCH as Tib
CHRISTINE BOTTOMLEY as Ann Walker
GEMMA JONES as Aunt Lister
ALAN DAVID as Uncle Lister
RICHENDA CAREY as Mrs Priestley
MICHAEL CULKIN as Charles Lawton
DEAN LENNOX KELLY as Christopher Rawson
TINA O’BRIEN as Miss Browne
BELINDA LAZENBY as Mrs Browne
TED HOLDEN as Rough Man
TESSA PEAKE-JONES as Mrs Rawson
JEMIMA FOXTROT as Lister Maid
MARTIN OLDFIELD as Jeweller
MICKY DACKS as Barman
ROB TAYLOR as Fiddler
ROBERT MAXFIELD as Priest