Anne Lister's Cousins

Published on 19 December, 2020 · Last updated on 6 September, 2022

Menstruation in the 19th Century

Anne referred to her period as her 'cousin' and meticulously recorded when her cycle began. This was often recorded in crypthand and included details regarding flow and whether or not she had to wear papers, napkins, or linens because of it. She also took an interest in, and would often mention, the cycles of the various women in her life.

This spreadsheet collates the details of Anne's cycles and changes in mood, health, and other symptoms as a direct result of her cousin. It also captures the data that Anne provided on Ann Walker, Mariana Lawton (née Belcombe), Isabella Norcliffe, Vere Hobart, and others. This project aims to create a resource that will benefit those interested in studying women's health in the 19th Century.

Periods, Symptoms, and Moods in Anne Lister's journals and papers

Anne Lister's journals include well documented menstruation cycles. Anne often notes when her period starts, how she prepares, and her sanitary practices during the cousin's visit. The spreadsheet below is a collaborative effort to compile all period references in Anne Lister's journals and papers.

Reference tracker: Anne's cousins


This project is made possible through ongoing contributions from the following people:

  • Adeline Lim

  • Amanda Pryce

  • Chloe Nacci

  • Dawn Susan

  • Erin Resso

  • Francesca Raia

  • Helen Childers

  • Jan Webster

  • Janneke Van der Weijden

  • Jenna Beyer

  • JY Jiang

  • Kathryn Williams

  • Leila Straub

  • Livia Labate

  • Marlene Oliveira

  • Nga Huynh Phuong

  • Pauline M.

  • Shantel Smith

  • Steph Gallaway

  • Ylva Nilson

How to contribute to this project

  1. Request access to edit the spreadsheet. Please include an email address that is associated with a Google account (this is the only requirement to participating in this project). If you don't have one, here's how to do it.

  2. You will receive an email confirming you have editorial access.

  3. Once granted access, you can add a new item to the bottom of the list.

Tip: Don't worry about redundancy; enter any information you have and we'll reconcile duplicates later.

All information in this spreadsheet is in English, but please preserve the spellings of Ann's nickname, as written by Anne Lister and others.

Anyone can help research and add additional information for each reference in this spreadsheet.

Cover photo: IB306660 - PIxabay