On reading David Behrens’ excellent report of Sally Wainwright’s forthcoming series on Anne Lister of Shibden Hall (Courier, March 17), it brought to mind Helena Whitbread’s book I know my own Heart (published 1988) where Helena had painstakingly transcribed the selection of Anne Lister’s diaries and her life story (1791-1840), the code entries having taken her two years to unravel.
She also found Anne’s handwriting very small and almost as difficult to read as the code had been, the four-million word diary being written on scraps of paper.
Anne Lister can be seen as a trailblazer for the emancipation of women in her day and she had shown an active interest in education in the schools in this area.
More interest was raised in the Courier on March 25, 2000 regarding the lost gravestone of Anne Lister which was found during renovations at Halifax Parish Church where plans were being made to have the stone restored and given pride of place there.
Always being interested in local life and the Yorkshire dialect in the Calderdale area I am looking forward immensely to the series which the BBC are filming next year (co-producing with HBO) after enjoying Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley and Last Tango in Halifax.
Mrs C Hand, Green Lane, Sowood