Tag Archives: helena whitbread

Historian and Editor of 'The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister'

As the editor of the Anne Lister journals I was amazed when I found Natasha Holme’s book. I learned that, like Anne Lister (1791-1840), Natasha has been an obsessive diarist from her early teenage years. But the startling fact is that, again like Anne Lister, Natasha wrote in a secret code of her own devising. This marked her out, to me, as a modern-day Anne Lister. Natasha’s account of her struggle to realise her lesbian sexuality and to deal with her eating disorder makes for an interesting, honest and sometimes painful read. I contacted her and, finding that she has many more years of her diairies yet to be published, I feel that a discerning literary agent might well find it rewarding to take up the challenge of getting them published. Like Anne Lister, from whose diaries I have published two books from which two documentaries and a film have been made, Natasha’s story could, I believe, become the subject of a film. It is my belief that her work on her own life may well make her a ‘name’ in the world of lesbian writing.

For the love of lesbian diary-writing …

As a lesbian and a devoted diarist, I was thrilled to discover in 1989 the original (1988) publication of this book, I Know My Own Heart: The Diaries of Anne Lister, 1791-1840. At a time when lesbian books were few, this was a godsend and I lapped up every word.
Continue reading »