Author Biography

Michelina Olivieri is a Ph.D. student at University of Denver. Her work focuses on Romantic and early Victorian women writers, life writing, and queer theory. Her recent thesis, The Closet Romantic, expands on the research in her article and explores Anne Lister as a Romantic writer and figure.


Despite the rigorous study of Anne Lister’s personal and public identities, scholars have only minimally acknowledged the ways in which Lister appropriated the ideas and practices of others to construct the image of herself they themselves are so fascinated by. From her teenage years onward, Lister collected ideas, images, and published works that broke with the traditional, conservative ideals on which she was raised and adapted them for her own use in expanding her queer identity. Of the scholars who do investigate Lister’s use of the publicly queer, even fewer have thoroughly examined Lister’s method of adaptation as a distinctly queer process of recognition and replication within the community—a process that, to some extent, still exists today. This paper aims to bridge a portion of this gap by examining Lister’s use of Lord Byron and argues that in her reflecting the easily visible traits of other, more public figures like Byron, Anne Lister exemplifies a tradition of queer survival methods that have created a community built on recognition and visibility within while maintaining the ability to hide in plain sight without, existing in the space between seen and unseen.


Queer Identity, Eighteenth-Century, Women's Writing, Sexuality, Diaries