MORE INTERESTING THAN MINE
The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister is a 2010 British television biographical drama about a 19th century Yorkshire landowner Anne Lister.(1) Anne Lister (1791–1840) was a wealthy, unmarried woman who inherited land from her uncle in 1826. Just for the record and to place Anne Lister and her diaries in some historical perspective, 1826 was the year the second president of the United States, John Adams, died and the year the first photograph was taken. Throughout her life Lister kept diaries which chronicled the details of her everyday life, including her lesbian relationships, her financial concerns, her industrial activities and her work on her 400 acres.
I’ve been keeping diaries for more than 25 years, but I don’t think mine will ever have quite the spice that these had or have. Thanks to the direction of James Kent and the starring role of Maxine Peake as Lister, with a script by Jane English a mass audience in this third millennium, more than a century and a half after the diaries were written, can get a taste of Anne Lister’s 4 million word diaries. If my poetry is included in my diaries I can match Lister in quantity, but I can’t turn the erotic screws on for millions and billions of viewers, mirabile dictu.
My diaries are far too philosophical and religious, intellectual and exotic, concerned as they are with the new religion I have been associated with for nearly 60 years.(2) A sixth of Lister’s words concern the intimate details of her romantic and sexual relationships. I’ve never quantified that portion of my diaries, poetic and otherwise, that have a highly sensuous style and manner, content and mode. The film premièred at the 24th London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival on 17 March 2010 and was screened in Australia tonight, 18 months later. -Ron Price with thanks to (1)ABC1TV, 13 November 2011, 8:30-10:05 p.m. and (2) the Baha’i Faith.
Some said the film was sex-obsessed
on those wild-windy Yorkshire moors:
this story of the first modern lesbian
……say some scholars of sexuality…..
Her pioneering life and wide-ranging
travels as well as her relationships in
those sexually charged 4 million word
diaries concerned themselves with the
social & emotional lot of lesbians in an
era of oppressive patriarchy…..The film
did not preclude a bit of hot girl-on-girl
action for those of a puerile and yet of a
punctilious nature. Snatching that carnal
ecstasy from stolen moments with her true
love will have a claustrophobic and yet, I’m
sure, a curiously liberating effect for some of
those millions & billions who will see this film.
13 November 2011