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About the book
  • Published: 25 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9781785944048
  • Imprint: BBC Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $28.00
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Gentleman Jack

The Real Anne Lister The Official Companion to the BBC Series




The diaries that inspired a major new eight-part BBC One drama starting Suranne Jones (Doctor Foster) and created, written and directed by Sally Wainwright (Last Tango In Halifax, Happy Valley).

The real Anne Lister, and the official companion to the hit BBC series created by Sally Wainwright and starring Suranne Jones.

In Gentleman Jack, historian and series consultant Anne Choma draws from the explosive diaries of Anne Lister to recreate the life and times of one of the most fascinating figures of the 19th century. Anne’s remarkable diaries, partly written in a secret code, detailed her innermost thoughts on everything from sex, menstruation and money to relationships, politics and society. As Choma shows, they have opened up a previously unknown world to us.

Fearless, charismatic and determined to explore her lesbian sexuality, Anne forged her own path in a society that had no language to define her. This is the real Gentleman Jack, following Anne from her crumbling ancestral home in Yorkshire to the glittering courts of Denmark as she resolves to put past heartbreak behind her and find herself a wife. The official companion to the first series, it also features unpublished journal extracts decrypted for the first time, as well as a foreword by series creator Sally Wainwright.

  • Pub date: 25 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9781785944048
  • Imprint: BBC Books
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368
  • RRP: $28.00

About the Authors

Sally Wainwright

Sally Wainwright is a BAFTA award-winning writer and director. Her shows include Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax, To Walk Invisible, Scott & Bailey and At Home with the Braithwaites.

Anne Choma

Anne Choma is a writer and historical researcher, specialising in the life and times of Anne Lister. She lives in Yorkshire.


Praise for Gentleman Jack

“Brilliant and accessible”

Suranne Jones, actress and television Producer

“A probing and page-turning study… full of original insights and freshly decoded material… the best one-volume intro to the astonishing Anne Lister”

Emma Donoghue, International best selling author of ‘Room', screen writer and Academy Award Winner

“Top 20 audio books of 2019”

The Guardian

“Exquisite”

DIVA Magazine

“Fascinating”

Radio Times Book Club Choice

“How often I have wished for a book like this, which goes deep into the real life of a historical figure portrayed on the screen.”

Caroline Donahue, The Secret Library Podcast


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