Gentleman Jack To Open The Secret Diaries Of Anne Lister

BBC One and HBO have commissioned new eight-part drama Gentleman Jack, written by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley), based on the remarkable diaries of 19th century landowner Anne Lister.

Set in 1832, Anne returns after years of exotic travel and social climbing to transform the fate of her faded ancestral home, Shibden Hall in Halifax. To do this she must re-open her coal mines and marry well. But charismatic, swash-buckling Anne Lister plans to marry a woman, and it must be someone who is wealthy.

Sally Wainwright says: “Landowner, industrialist, traveler, mountaineer, scholar, would-be brain surgeon and prolific diarist, Anne returns from years of travel to her ancestral home, determined to restore it to its former glory, and determined to marry Ann Walker.”

“It’s a beautifully rich, complicated, surprising love story. To bring Anne Lister to life on screen is the fulfillment of an ambition I’ve had for 20 years. Shibden Hall is a place I have known and loved since I was a child.”

Gentleman Jack, which will be directed by Sally Wainwright, begins filming in Yorkshire next year. Anne’s story was previously adapted for BBC Two in 2010 as TV movie The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, which starred Maxine Peake and Anna Madeley.