Gentleman Jack is 230 and looking fine! 🥳

BY DIVA STAFF

Thousands of Anne Lister fans will come together online this weekend to celebrate the famous diarists’ birthday. 

Saturday 3 April 2021 would have been the scholar, traveller, businesswoman and landowner’s 230th birthday. It’s also a landmark year for her Halifax home, Shibden Hall, which has been standing for at least 600 years. 

Shibden Hall and pond. Image courtesy of Calderdale Museums

Shibden, which is run by Calderdale Council, has been closed for much of the last year, and for a second year the occasion will be marked with virtual celebrations, including 3D tours and the release of a podcast by Calderdale Libraries celebrating the life of the “first modern lesbian”, whose story was brought to a whole new audience through Sally Wainwright’s wonderful series, Gentleman Jack.

Zohrah Zancudi, Calderdale Council’s director of public services, said: “Anne Lister and her incredible story have inspired so many people around the world. We are honoured to mark her 230th birthday to celebrate her life, legacy and impact. 

Anne Lister’s music book. Image courtesy of Calderdale Museums

“Although we can’t gather in person, the many fantastic online activities will open upcommemorations to a global audience.

“The phenomenal success of Gentleman Jack secured Calderdale’s place on the map as a major cultural, LGBTQ and heritage destination, leading to unprecedented visitor numbers to Shibden Hall and beyond. 

“The impact of the first series, and the upcoming addition of the second series which is currently being filmed, will form part of our economic recovery from Covid-19 when it is safe to make the most of the ‘Gentleman Jack effect’ again.”

Sophie Rundle and Suranne Jones as Ann Walker and Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack
Image credit BBC/Lookout Point/Jay Brooks

Elsewhere, fans are celebrating Anne’s birthday with an #AnneListerBakeOff.

For more information about Anne Lister’s birthday celebrations and Shibden600, head to visitcalderdale.com and visit calderdale.gov.uk/museums to access the 3D virtual tour, the diary entries, a full biography of Anne and other resources to learn more about her extraordinary life.

IMAGES VIA BBC/LOOKOUT POINT, CALDERDALE MUSEUMS

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