Anne Lister was an exceptional woman! Like the French author Colette, whom I wrote about after the release of the film retracing a part of her life, Anne Lister was a pioneer of feminism and one of the first LGBTQ activists in the United Kingdom.
She is known for her journals considered by the United Nations as "pivotal" documents in British history.
Lister and her wife Ann Walker have been the first married lesbian couple in the nineteenth century (around 1832), a time when homosexuality was not only a taboo but also a crime.
This union has marked England to the point of having a commemorative plaque on the walls of the Holy Trinity Church in York, a city in the North East of England.
The series “Gentleman Jack” will retrace the life of Anne Lister who has traveled around the world before returning to her ancestral home, Shibden Hall, in Halifax where she gets her nickname, Gentleman Jack, given by the locals.
A female team is at the helm of this drama. Created by Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley), the series will be directed by Wainwright, Sarah Harding, and Jennifer Perrott.
Alongside actresses Suranne Jones and Sophie Rundle, there are also Katherine Kelly, in the role of Elizabeth Sutherland, Ann Walker’s sister, and Sofie Gråbøl as Queen Marie of Denmark.
They were all delighted to join the cast. Gentleman Jack’s creator and director Sally Wainwright said, “It’s so exciting that Anne Lister’s story has attracted such an extraordinary cast, and now we can add to that the unique talents of Katherine Kelly and Sofie Gråbøl. Anne Lister is taking us up to Scotland and across Europe.”
Kelly said, “I’m thrilled to be reuniting with Sally once again [they both worked together on a previous series]. I know how passionate she is about the life and times of Anne Lister, and I’m delighted to be portraying such a key historical character in Anne Lister’s story.”
Gråbøl added, “When asked if I would like to play the Queen of Denmark in Sally Wainwright’s brand new series, I could not have said ‘yes’ fast enough. I’m excited to welcome the Gentleman Jack team to Copenhagen, and to film my scene as Queen Marie with the wonderful Suranne Jones.”
Commissioned by the BBC, the series will be broadcast on HBO too. In 2019, we will be able to follow “Gentleman Jack,” an autobiographical series centered on a lesbian woman and her relationship with another woman. I can’t wait!