Heard of her? We hadn’t, until watching the trailer for the upcoming HBO series Gentleman Jack starring Suranne Jones. Take a look below, because we learned some seriously amazing things about this woman, and can’t wait to see her on the screen.
1) She was known as ‘The First Modern Lesbian’
While she was not quite so open with her sexuality, she wore dark clothes and eschewed other paraphernalia typically worn by women during her time.
2) She kept diaries throughout her life that amounted to over four million words
About a sixth of which were written in secret code.
3) Speaking of those diaries, it wasn’t decoded until the 1930s
She used a combination of the Greek alphabet and algebra, and was convinced that no one could decode it. A descendant, John Lister, actually decoded it in the 1890s, but reburied the diaries when he read about her steamy love affairs with other women. John was secretly gay, and did not want to draw attention to himself.
4) She owned her own property
Which was rare for women back in the day. She also widly improved Shibden Hall, the name of her land.
5) She loved books
Not surprising, given her penchant for inventing codes. She once wrote to her aunt, “My library is my greatest pleasure…”