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Renowned Lesbian’s Will to Be Auctioned

Renowned Lesbian’s Will to Be Auctioned

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The will of the once notorious Anne Lister, now widely regarded as the first "modern lesbian," is to be auctioned, reports the English newspaper Yorkshire Evening Post.

Lister was a wealthy landowner in Yorkshire, England, who scandalized 18th century society with her appearance, which was considered masculine, and for living fairly openly as a lesbian. She is perhaps most famous for her 4 million-word diary in which she wrote about her lesbian romances in code. Lister was referred to as Gentleman Jack in many quarters and had many female lovers who called her Fred. Yet the will contains a large bequest to just one of her girlfriends, heiress Ann Walker, with whom she lived for eight years until her death at age 49 in 1840. Walker was committed to a lunatic asylum in 1853 and her estate put into the hands of trustees. A film about Lister, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, is currently playing LGBT film festivals.

The auction is scheduled for August 19 at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire, England.

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