Romance according to “The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” (2010)

“The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” (2010): love-LOVE-love!

Below are memorable quotes from the film. Of course, the quotes are entirely based on the film alone, and not the diaries. However, some dialogues were actually taken from the diaries.

poster“I was not born to live alone. I must have someone with me, and in loving and being loved, I could be happy.” -Anne Lister

“A thousand recollections crowd on me in my own secret alphabet. Surely no one has ever doted on another as I her. I love her, and her heart is mine.” -Anne Lister

Marianna: “Are you sure it’s safe?”
Anne: “From all but the eyes of God.”
Marianna: “Oh, Freddie. You give the best kisses.”

“I can live upon hope. You cannot doubt the love of one who has waited so long and patiently. I will be constant and never feel a wish for any other.” -Anne Lister


Anne (Maxine Peake)  and Mariana (Anna Madeley) on those happier days

“I have made up my mind always to wear black, to free myself from the tyranny of fashion.” – Anne Lister

Anne: “I’ve decided to publish, and as I have yet to settle on a subject I must read widely. I wish for a name in the world.”
Aunt: “A husband’s name might stand you in better stead.”

“What if I should, by and by, meet with another? Such is our imperfect nature that dissipation may prove more efficacious than reflection.” – Anne Lister

Miss Browne: “You…have such a penetrating countenance.”
Anne: “Well, sometimes I’m more anxious to be penetrating than at others.”

Miss Browne: “Oh, you have a romantic nature. I admire that.”
Anne: “I find a slight tincture of romance in a character makes one more agreeable, don’t you think?”

“I always consult my…inclination. I find cultivating a complimentary strain with ladies makes life more agreeable to us all.” – Anne Lister

“And when was the last time… anyone played on your flute?” – Isabella Norcliffe

Anne: “How often are you connected with him?”
Marianna: “Don’t.”
Anne: “Do you get pleasure from it? Do you?”
Marianna: “Only through thinking of you.”
Anne: “Then you do get pleasure from it.”
Marianna: “Don’t ask me these questions. You’ve no idea what I suffer.”
Anne: “What you suffer? What you suffer? You chose him! You were not innocent.”

“Knowing Mariana has been the ruin of my health and happiness. What is her match but legal prostitution?” – Anne Lister


“Consider it an engagement. The day you come to live with me we shall wear these rings on our fingers.” – Anne Lister

Uncle: “Perhaps if you had a suitor you wouldn’t bother me with these… woodland walks.”
Anne: “And perhaps if I had a woodland walk, I’d have somewhere to take a suitor.”

Anne: “I don’t want a husband. I appreciate your efforts in finding me a suitor, I really do, but you really don’t have to bother.”
Aunt: “But, child, don’t you want a husband and little ones and… and life about the house?”
Anne: “I want my independence. I want to keep my name and… and I want to be a proud Lister until the day I die. Like you both. You are the model of how I wish to live.”
Uncle: “Well…as you wish.”
Anne: “I shan’t be lonely, Aunt. I hope to settle with a female companion.”

“My mind always turns to you and the prospect of a safe mooring. You will not, you cannot forget I am your constant, faithful, affectionate…” – Mariana Lawton

“It doesn’t matter. She’s making plans of her own and you’ve encouraged her. For us to have any hope of living together, you must be faithful. And look on me as your wife.” – Mariana Lawton

“We are to read a chapter of the New Testament at the same time every day, until we can be together again. But, oh, Mariana…my wife and all I love…how the waiting gnaws at me.” – Anne Lister

Anne: “When Charles dies, she will be my companion here at Shibden.”
Isabella: “That could be 20 years yet. Has she not galled you enough?”
Anne: “I will not have another word said against Mariana. You’re jealous!”
Isabella: “And you’re misguided!”

Marianna: “Do we have to keep playing this game? Women can’t marry! We could have a good life, see each other often, if only you wouldn’t insist on us living together.”
Anne: “That’s no life!”
Marianna: “You live in a girlish dream! Yes, we might live as companions, but the way you are with me… Think! People would smoke us in days. We’d be ruined, ridiculed, cut by all society!”
Anne: “Then why have you said you would live with me for so long?”
Marianna: “Because I love you!”
Anne: “A coward love!”
Marianna: “The world is the way it is and we cannot change it!”
Anne: “Then I see you are not the woman of all hours for me. I crave a stronger character. Only in bed are you excellent!”
Marianna: “You cannot live without me.”
Anne: “Oh, but I do. And I cannot bear it any longer. I want to share my life with someone. I want that. Or nothing at all.”

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Maxine Peake and Christine Bottomley (as Ann Walker)

Mrs. Priestley: “… People are insinuating things. Things which may prevent you securing a husband.”
Ann Walker: “I…I don’t…I do not want…a husband.”
Mrs. Priestley: “What?”
Ann Walker: “I do not want a husband.”
Mrs. Priestley: “You! I dare not even say by what unnatural means you have brought her here.”
Anne: “Mrs. Priestley, you yourself always tell people I’m the most natural person you know.”


“Breathe in and when you’re ready, breathe out, and slowly squeeze the trigger.” – Anne Lister

Mariana: “Shy Miss Walker? Is she all that you hope for?”
Anne: “We suit each other. And I like her very much.”
Mariana: “Like? I do believe I could leave Charles now and he would barely notice. He has… acquired other female interests. Might there still be a place for me in your heart?”
Anne: “You made your choice.”
Mariana: “Well, can’t I unmake it? I was foolish… about…trivial things. You can’t love her the way we loved, it’s not possible!”


Posted on 2014/04/11, in Thoughts and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Romance according to “The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister” (2010).

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