Perhaps Gentleman Jack holds the answer to their problems. Happy Valley writer Sally Wainwright brings the true story of the 18th century lesbian landowner Anne Lister. As well as a modern premise, it seems to have the inventive wit and style and fourth wall breaking of Fleabag. A Fleabag set in Georgian times? Yes please! Here’s everything we know about the series.
Suranne Jones as Anne Lister and Sophie Rundle as Ann Walker
What's the story of Gentleman Jack?
Anne Lister was a landowner and industrialist in the 1830s, who inherited her family’s fortune after the deaths of her brothers. She was put in charge of maintaining and renovating the vast Shibden House in Yorkshire.
She started a relationship with Ann Walker in 1834, her fifth lesbian romance. She recorded her experiences in 27 volumes of diaries written in code (decrypted 50 years after her death). Remarkably for the time, Anne and Ann lived openly as a couple – and even got married.
Gentleman Jack aims to trace that relationship and the ripples it cast through her family, the local community, and her industrial rivals.
Portrait of Anne Lister, c. 1830, by Joshua Horner
Who's in the cast of Gentleman Jack?
Gaining fame as the vengeful cheated wife in Doctor Foster, Suranne Jones is playing the title role of Anne Lister. This marks her fourth collaboration with writer Sally Wainwright, who said of Jones's casting: ‘Bringing Anne Lister to life with all her complexity, passion, brilliance and wit is an epic challenge that will require all the boldness, subtlety, energy and humour that I know only Suranne will bring to it.’
Sophie Rundle (Bodyguard, Peaky Blinders) is taking on the role as Anne’s lover, Ann Walker. Also starring is Rosie Cavaliero (Cleaning Up), Vincent Franklin (Bodyguard, Happy Valley), and Katherine Kelly (Cheat, Happy Valley).
What's the Gentleman Jack release date?
Because HBO made Gentleman Jack in collaboration with the BBC, they get first dibs. It will air in the U.S. on 22nd April, with a U.K. release date still unconfirmed. It better be coming soon – we can't wait to see the exuberant Anne Lister in action!
Watch the trailer below.
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