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Kneeling side by side under the medieval arches of the tiny church, two women bowed their heads and prayed. It was Homosexual acts were illegal and sexual relationships between women were largely unacknowledged - the word lesbian had not even been coined. But Anne Lister had no truck with the misogynistic conventions of 19th Century England. She was a businesswoman, entered politics and climbed mountains. The black-clad figure, striding confidently along the cobbled streets, was a familiar sight in Halifax.
Anne Lister, with a little hat - also black - sitting atop her tight, black ringlets, marched on, seemingly unperturbed. The peculiarly dressed, haughty woman from the nearby manor house Shibden Hall stood out in the working-class Yorkshire town. Educated and confident, in an age when women were rarely either, she attracted attention wherever she went. Men would often jokingly proposition her as she walked by.
Others sent her anonymous, mocking and abusive letters. A practical joker had an advert placed in the Leeds Mercury in her name, looking for a husband.
Since childhood she had been different. Teachers feared she would influence the other girls with her rebellious behaviour and in her teens, she was confined to an attic bedroom, where she lived in virtual seclusion. Her diary became her closest confidante.
There are few pictures of Anne, but this one shows her in her youth. Everything she had learned that day would be recorded too: Greek, algebra, French, mathematics, geology, astronomy and philosophy. Anne possessed a voracious intelligence and - at a time when women were barred from universities - was determined to learn everything a man was able to. The illegitimate half-Indian daughter of an English surgeon, Eliza was another outcast.