Anne Lister's Secret Diary for 1817
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For Anne Lister 1817 was a year of new beginnings and farewells to her old life. The coded entries for this year reveal decisions and events which form the rest of her adult life. She would continue her education and read extensively; she would not allow herself the luxury of self-pity and depression but would start her studies at 5 am each day; she would recognize her true masculine personality and dress in black, the colour of male dignity and practicality. She would also save her money in order to participate more fully in the social life her richer friends enjoyed, though this was difficult as her parents were the poorest part of her family. Above all she would avoid gossips, live a quiet, dignified, self-sufficient life and regain the respect of her aunt and uncle who ran the Lister estates. They were very important; they might write their wills in her favour.