Sculpture unveiled of 'Gentleman Jack' Anne Lister at Halifax's Piece Hall

Gentleman Jack star, Suranne Jones has unveiled a new sculpture unveiled of prominent 19th century diarist, landowner, and “first modern lesbian” Anne Lister.

Gentleman Jack star Suranne Jones (left) and sculptor Diane Lawrenson unveil a newly-created interpretation of Anne Lister, at The Piece Hall Credit: Charlotte Graham

The actor was joined by the BBC series creator Sally Wainwright and sculptor Diane Lawrenson at the Piece Hall in Halifax as the life-size bronze sculpture of Anne reclining on a plinth was revealed.

The installation, called ‘Contemplation’, which was funded by The Piece Hall Trust, rounds off a series of events to mark the 181st anniversary of Lister’s death.

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Anne Lister (1791-1840) had strong connections to Halifax as a successful female entrepreneur and landowner. She lived at nearby Shibden Hall until her death in 1840.

The sculpture was unveiled at The Piece Hall in Halifax Picture: Charlotte Graham

She wrote an estimated five million words detailing her life as a landowner and businesswoman and her liaisons with other women, as well as portraying the network of relationships between women of the gentry and aristocracy in early 19th century Halifax and beyond.

In the UK, six million weekly viewers tuned in to watch the eight-part series in which Suranne Jones played Lister.

Ms Jones, 43, who found fame in Coronation Street, said the response to Gentleman Jack from audiences around the world had been “astonishing”.

She said: “It’s vitally important that we continue to tell the story of strong women throughout history, whether it’s through our television screens like Gentleman Jack or works like this that will encourage people to delve deeper into her life.

“Halifax and Calderdale have played an important role in my own life since the first series of Gentleman Jack aired on TV, and I’m delighted that this new installation has a permanent home in such a stunning venu