Gentleman Jack: The Early Life of Miss Anne Lister and the Curious Tale of Miss Eliza Raine
The year is 1804. In York, at a school for wealthy girls, two 13-year-olds share a cold attic bedroom. They sleep together for two years and pledge undying love. Anne and Eliza marry each other secretly and promise to live together when they reach twenty-one - but nothing works out as planned. This tale of Georgian England is taken from real letters and diaries revealing two women whose lives changed beyond belief.
The wild Northern England county of Yorkshire, made famous by the Bronte sisters, was where Anne and Eliza met. Mrs Rochester, the mad woman locked away in the attic in "Jane Eyre", may have been modelled on Eliza.
Anne Lister, born 1791, started life with three brothers, in the poorest branch of a landed family. She wrote diaries from 1806 when she was 15 until her death in 1840. She filed all the letters she sent or received neatly in date order, including those of Eliza Raine. Miss Lister's papers were hidden away in her house until 1923, when the last Lister donated them to Halifax Council. Now in Calderdale Archives, they form the text of this book.
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