Anne Lister's Life Hacks

Shantel SmithPublished on 25 January, 2021 · Last updated on 26 Feb, 2024

Cover image by Matt Brine

Hacking life in the 19th Century 

Living in the 19th century was not easy.  The use of electricity was still a half-century away,  antibiotics had not yet been invented, and medical practices were questionable, to say the least.  And yet Anne Lister seemed to effortlessly construct a blueprint for living and thriving in those tumultuous times.  Miss Lister used her journals to document countless tricks and tips for an easier life ranging in topics such as medicinal, domestic affairs, artisan crafts, horticulture, and dealing with life outdoors.

But Anne also kept a range of other logs and memoranda, such as account books, copies of business letters, lecture notes, poems, and address books. 

Learn more about Anne's notes from her 'Receipt Book' on health, personal treatments, and household remedies in this presentation by Lynn Shouls.

Anne Lister is the best doctor among many other things

Anne Lister's knowledge in a multitude of life subjects was not lacking. She was, in fact, the best doctor. The goal of this tracker is to collect all the hacks that made Anne Lister the best at living.  Collecting these various tips and tricks in one convenient tracker provides a unique glimpse into 19th-century life.  Include all mentions of life hacks such as ingredients to help with an ailment,  prescriptions from doctors,  or methods and processes she creates for easier outdoor work or household chores.  You may just consult it sometime when you’re in need of some practical advice!

Reference tracker: Anne Lister's Life Hacks


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

How to contribute to this project

Tip: Don't be too concerned with redundancy; enter any information you have and we'll reconcile duplicates later. 

Data in this spreadsheet is in English, but please preserve spellings of words  as written by Anne Lister and others.

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