30 September 2019
The Portico Prize Longlist of 17 books explores the myriad themes of identity, belonging, gender, class and the meaning of place – all connected by the spirit of the North.
This year’s list includes six debut novels and ten independent publishers, and spans fiction, creative non-fiction, memoir, poetry, place writing, biography, a graphic history and travel writing.
Angela Steidele’s brilliant work of non-fiction, Gentleman Jack, recreates the life of Anne Lister, history’s first modern lesbian who inspired the television series Gentleman Jack.
Anne Lister’s journals were so shocking that the first person to crack their secret code hid them behind a fake panel in his ancestral home. Anne Lister was a Regency landowner, an intrepid world traveller … and an unabashed lover of other women.
In this bold new biography, prizewinning author Angela Steidele uses the diaries to create a portrait of Anne Lister as we’ve never seen her before: a woman in some ways very much of her time and in others far ahead of it. Anne Lister recorded everything from the most intimate details of her numerous liaisons through to her plans to make her fortune by exploiting the coal seams under her family estate in Halifax and her reaction to the Peterloo massacre. She conducted a love life of labyrinthine complexity, all while searching for a girlfriend who could provide her with both financial security and true love.