Series 1 Episode 3
"Well well well"

Episode 3: Oh Is That What You Call It?

GJ day 18 opens with a beautifully crafted scene where Anne makes it clear who's in charge to Mrs Stansfield Rawson and Catherine Rawson's younger sister, Delia. Anne records the visit in her diary: "Mrs Stansfield and Miss Delia Rawson called (from Gledholt near Huddersfield, 7 miles off) call & staid an hour - Miss W- glad I had sat them out".

The same day (September 27) Anne takes Ann to the chaumiere, or moss house,[1] for the first time; Ann's "I can't remember when I've spent so pleasant a day" line is recorded in code: "Miss W and I very cozy and confidential. On parting she said she knew not when she had spent so pleasant a day".

Later Anne writes: "Well, said I to myself as I left her, she is more in for it than she thinks. She likes me certainly. We laughed at the idea of the talk our going abroad together would [cause?]. She said it would be as good as a marriage. 'Yes,' said [I], 'quite as good or better.' And I shall be thankful to heaven for the mercy of bringing me home having first saved me from Vere [Hobart], rid me of Mariana, and set me at liberty" (27-Sep-1832).[2]

On Saturday September 29 Anne is late back to Shibden; Cordingly and Hemingway were actually out looking for her, Marian was furious but wasn't "on the cusp of sending the servants out". The following (GJ) day, Anne and Marian have their very entertaining argument at breakfast, and - not that it matters - the BBC subtitles here are incorrect: when Anne says "You're not going to get married right now, are you, Marian? Good Heavens, there's no stopping her! We'd better get the banns read", the subtitles read "We'd better get the bands ready".[3] At the end of the row, after Anne goads Marian: "I hope this 'husband' is someone worthy of marrying my sister and fathering a Lister!", Marian - quite clearly - replies "He will be a Lister!".[4] This makes no sense. Any child of Marian's wouldn't be a Lister.[5] Did Gemma Whelan get her line wrong?

On October 4 Anne and Ann kiss for the first time; " kissing her and she returning it with such a long continued passionate or nervous mumbling kiss... this is rather more than I expected" writes Anne. Ann then really does ask "..would you like to come for dinner? And then... Stay all night?" - but Anne can't, her father (not Aunt Anne) is unwell, and Marian has gone to Market Weighton,[6] so Anne doesn't feel she can stay out all night. Anne does go back for dinner and afterwards gets a bit further with Ann: "I prest her bosom... let my hand wander lower down gently getting to queerAnne's word for lady-bits... no resistance". In the GJ version, Ann does resist, saying "This is too much, it's too soon"; the diary tells a different story: "it came out how that her affections had been engaged to one of the best of men, that they could not be transferred so soon for he had only been dead just three months" (4-Oct-1832).[7]

Anne's then off to check on the men working on her alterations to Shibden, and she gets a mouthful from the drunken Sam Sowden "She's a fella. A fella in a frock. Go on, show us your cock!" who's been employed by Mr Pickels. I think this is based on a number of events that really did happen to Anne: often mistaken for a man she was once asked "Does your cock stand?", and a drunken Pickels - not Sowden - once accosted her at home.

On the seventh Anne is back at Lidgate, and this is the evening that John Booth assumed that she's with the Priestleys...

It's the next day, October 8 (GJ day 20), that Mrs Priestley barges in and nearly catches them at it: "...kissing and pressing her as usual... Mrs Priestley came at four - I had jumped in time and was standing by the fire but Ann looked red and I pale and Mrs P must see we were not particularly expecting or desiring company". Mrs P goes off in "suppressed rage" and "at last I got my right hand up her petticoats and after much fumbling got thro' the opening of her drawers and touched first time the hair and skin of queer" (8-Oct-1832). They finally go to bed a week later, on the fifteenth.

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Notes & Observations
[1] The moss house existed - there's lots of detail about its construction in the diaries. The GJ set - built in the Shibden grounds - was sadly demolished after filming.
[2] Anne is missing words in this diary entry, and we also see one of her common mistakes: using a double-letter code when she's already written the letter once.
[3] The DVD subtitles are correct.
[4] The BBC subtitles say "will"; the script & the DVD subtitles say "won't".
[5] The script is more logical: "It won't be a Lister!"
[6] The Listers had previously lived in Market Weighton, and still owned property there. Anne's mother is buried in the parish churchyard.
[7] Ann's late suitor is later identified as "Mr Fraser".
Page updated 27-Aug-2020
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