Anne Lister's Education

Published on 21 December, 2020 · Last updated on 6 September, 2022

Anne Lister was passionate about learning.

She was constantly determined to 'improve' herself, and took management of her education seriously. In addition to her formal education at King's Manor School in York, Anne frequently attended lectures, paid for private lessons, and maintained a rigorous schedule of self-study throughout her life.

Her interests spanned a vast array of topics, from gardening and mineralogy to physics and comparative anatomy. This project aims to document the tenacity and numerous ways by which Anne tried to satisfy her endless curiosity and thirst for knowledge.

“I look forward with much pleasure to that best of all pleasures, the pursuit of knowledge – 'She is more precious than rubies; and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her' (proverb iii 15) … I have learned to think; and thought is pleasant when we steer it right”

– Anne Lister, 30 October 1826

Educational experiences in Anne Lister's journal

Our goal is to collect the learning experiences Anne describes in her journal, which will allow for further analysis of her education, both self-taught and tutored.

We invite everyone to join us in collecting these references from Anne’s journals. Because Anne was an avid reader, there will undoubtedly be some overlap with material Anne read for leisure. We also know that she had music lessons in addition to writing and practicing music of her own. As we already have projects examining these subjects in closer detail, entries that fall into the categories of literature or performing arts should be tracked in Anne Lister's Bookshelf and Anne Lister's Performing Arts.

Reference tracker: Education


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

  • Alison Kirchgasser

  • Dawn Susan

  • Janneke Van der Weijden

  • Jenna Beyer

  • JY Jiang

  • Pauline M.

  • Steph Gallaway

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 names of events and artists as written by Anne Lister.

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

If you want to help research information about these references or help find any of these artworks, please follow the steps above and note you would like to research the entries.

Cover photo: ilovechile-travel on Pixabay