Jun. 1840 p. 248

Diary entry for June Sunday the 14th., 1840 a coded section. Lister now confide her diary that their quarrels must be well-known to other people around. Lister obviously dreaming about a life without Walker:

A(nn) and I all wrong  (??) the rows speaking it must be known to more than ourselves. How thankful I shall be when the parting is well over.

Jun. 1840 p. 248

A diary page with two separate code strings, one in the beginning of text and one in the middle. Lister & Walker now traveeling in Georgia, code reveal more tensions between the two ladies:

Never spoke, nor she to me beyond the absolute necessaire.

Another string code on the same page:

Feel very grave and little inclined to speak musing. How best to leave her what to do and where to live. At or near Paris, not at Shibden yet awhile she would be far to near.

Jan. 1840 p. 240

Lister & Walker in Moscow, coded entry:

Had A(nn) last night in my little bed and consquently had a wretched night. My own fault. why did I invite her then I (?) before she tarved me by the cold of her own body and by the clothes being small or I being pushed /…/


Febr. 1840 p. 43

Like any other pre-victorian person Anne Lister put her trust in old-fashioned medicine. Making daily careful observances of her own health and especially motions was recorded in her own secret code. A kibitka mentioned in this code, from Russian кибитка (kibítka) was a covered horse drawn carriage from Russia:

Went behind the servants kibitka (i.e., a horse wagon) and did job first time of so managing could not alight the last stage.

Jan. 1840 p. 232

Lister and Walker in Moscow. In this coded entry Lister once again reveal the tensions. In a try to read from a letter to Π( pi=Mariana Lawton) about their journey, Walker once again goes wrong. Lister clearly upset over Ann’s reaction:

Beginning to copy my letter to (pi, i.e Mariana) when had a misgiving so read it to Ann. Wrong considering my opinion on her, wondered about my telling all about us. We had a crying (?) mercy upon me that I cannot even write a letter, I who never was (?) by anyone in my life. I said I had better not she (?) my letters at all then she said that would be very unfair and cried ’tis novel even’ and my whole evening has been spent in talking her into reason . How terrible. Who could guess or believe it? I must escape somehow or other. 

April 1840 p. 146

With only a few months to live another diary entry seem to prove that Lister was not too happy with Walker. Anne’s incurred crosses reveal that in her most private moments her longings is  for someone else:

Incurred a cross thinking of Π.

April 1840 p. 143

Lister & Walker travel further into Southern Russia together with their servants. For some days they’ve been in Vladikavkaz. Today it is the capital city of the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania. It is located in the southeast of the republic at the foothills of the Caucasus mountains, situated on the Terek river. Lister’s here referring to people who hosted them on their journey:

Somehow I don’t much like them. They gave us good dinner but there was no feeling of kindness with it.

July 1840 p. 329

Lister & Walker in Georgia. This is one of the last diary entries made by code. Haven’t solved yet what Lister found in her clothes. Probably some insects:

Because found  a (?) in them last night and have found it two or three times in my flannel waistcoat.

June 1839 p. 141

Walker was very nervous going abroad with Lister. They would soon leave England and travel via Germany to Sweden, Norway and Finland. They reached S:t Petersburg in October 1839 and 2 days later left for Moscow. They would stay in Moscow until February 1840:

Ann very low. Poor thing! She is nervous about the voyage.

More about Anne Lister

During her life time Anne Lister did her best to explore and understand her sexuality. She accepted her own nature or “oddity” as she sometimes named it and let no moral or religious guilt interfere with the fact she was a lesbian. Sadly, the community of Halifax didn’t accept Anne’s person even if  she as a Lister was very much respected. That kind of respect had to do with class and the fact that the Lister’s were landowners with a heraldic pedigree. In Halifax she was often teased, made fun of – or stared at in public places. She prefered her company of  friends in York where she was tolerated and accepted. With little medical references (this was before Freud and psychoanalysis) Lister turned to the ancient sources: the Bible and the classical greek and latin stories referring to same-sex relations. She also met with ladies with a similar reputation but was very careful not to hint on her own private life or reveal anything about her sexuality to them. This was the case when she made friendship with miss Frances Pickford or visited the Ladies of Llangollen. This website has information about the Ladies of Llangollen and the many famous person’s who visited them. A comment is found on Anne Lister’s visit which was traced by the help of her diaries.

Frances Pickford, called “Pic” in Anne’s diaries was the daughter of Baronet Sir Joseph Pickford (died 1819), who by Royal permission in 1795 could add the name Radcliffe to his. The family lived at Royton Hall (demolished in the 1940’s). Frances was born in 1778 at Royton Hall, Lancashire but moved to Bath in 1830’s and like Lister remained unmarried all her life. Anne met Pickford in 1823 and suspected Frances was a lesbian. They had some talks recorded in Lister’s diary about the classics and Lister was very impressed that Picford seemed educated. The Royton Local History Society has included Frances Pickford’s biography in Interesting Roytonians (on their website). Frances died in 1861.

Dec. 1838 p. 166

From her diary entries in code it’s obvious that Lister had to spend a lot of time comforting the sad Walker:

Near quarter hour with A(nn) she crying and when I asked if anything was the matter she said she rather I left her alone. I will my love, so goodnight and I came away. What a nunhasy being!

Dec. 1838 p. 165

Lister can’t figure out what’s bothering Walker and obviously never asked her:

A(nn) wrong perhaps because I told John Dixon to sit with the women behind us. I made George open the gates and went back to Ld (?) John who was standing in the road or street to follow A(nn) and me. A(nn) cried all the way back but I took no notice. Poor thing! What a pity.