Hot on the heels of The Favourite comes another scorching lesbian drama that judging by the trailer alone, looks like it is going to be another enormous hit.
HBO’s drama GENTLEMAN JACK is based on the true story of British aristocrat Anne Lister who can lay claim to having the UK’s first ever lesbian wedding, In fact there is a plaque dedicated to her at the Holy Trinity Church in York, England, reads: “Anne Lister, 1791 – 1840, of Shibden Hall, Halifax, Lesbian and Diarist took sacrament here to seal her union with Ann Walker, Easter 1834.”
When she died in 1841, the very wealthy Anne Lister left behind diaries that ran over 4 million words, with much of her exploits encoded (“x” denoted an orgasm). After parts were published in the 1980s, the writings were so graphic in regards to Lister’s lesbian affairs that people suspected a hoax. . Lister was referred to as “Gentleman Jack” for tastes—in sexuality and dress—that were viewed as unapologetically masculine and decidedly unladylike. Because of her wealth and her position in society that came with it afforded them the opportunity to live a lifestyle outside of traditional bounds
Her relationships are marked by melodrama and the occasional asylum, but she and Walker would live together until Lister passed away at 49 while traveling, another of her great passions.
Lister inherited Shibden Hall after her aunt’s death in 1836, which gave her a very healthy income from all her tenants. She was however a very modern woman for her time and invested in the industries that marked the Industrial Revolution, like the building of canals, railways, and mining.