PHOTO CREDIT: © 2010 Laurence Cendrowicz
Two years ago, we blogged about The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, based on the Regency-era diaries of a remarkable woman who inherited the estate and stately home of Shibden Hall in 1826. The diaries first saw the light of day in 1988 under the title I Know My Own Heart, which has been called “a veritable Rosetta Stone of lesbian life in the early nineteenth century.”
The inheritance placed Miss Lister in a position comparable to that of Mr. Darcy, and as a single woman in possession of a good fortune, she found herself in want of a wife. But the role of Miss Lister allows Maxine Peake (Little Dorrit) to play other Austen archetypes as well. Like Emma, she selects a protégé who is destined to disappoint. Like Marianne Dashwood, she suffers when her one true passion Mariana (Anna Madeley – Sense and Sensibility) marries for money – to a middle-aged man with 6,000 a year. Yet Anne is as ruthlessly seductive as Willoughby or Wickham, and every bit as arrogant as Mr. Darcy, not to mention as snobbish as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Miss Lister’s frankness about herself and others gives this Regency drama a very modern feel. We’ve received many queries about The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister since its BBC premiere in 2010, and we’re happy to announce that work is underway to bring the DVD to North America this summer.
Frozen Planet continues on Discovery Sundays at 8pm ET: This week’s episode is a fascinating look at the thrills and hardships involved in making of this landmark series.