BBC One has commissioned a new period drama from writer Sally Wainwright (The Last Tango in Halifax, Happy Valley), based on the life of Anne Lister.
The eight-part series follows the story of landowner Anne Lister who returns from years of travel to re-establish her faded ancestral home Shibden Hall, Halifax.
Society dictates that she should re-open her coal mines and marry well, yet the charming and single-minded Anne has no intention of marrying a man and instead seeks a wealthy female suitor.
Shibden Hall is a love story based on historical facts, taken from the diary entries of Anne Lister which contained the intimate details of her life.
The drama, created and written by Sally Wainwright, will explore the protagonist's relationships with her family, servants, rivals, and her complex relationship with wealthy heiress Ann Walker.
Speaking about the new series, Wainwright said: “Anne Lister is a gift to a dramatist. She is one of the most exuberant, thrilling and brilliant women in British history, and I can’t wait to celebrate her."
She continued: "It’s a beautifully rich, complicated, surprising love story. To bring Anne Lister to life on screen is the fulfillment of an ambition I’ve had for 20 years. Shibden Hall is a place I have known and loved since I was a child.”
Piers Wenger, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning, said: “The originality and ambition of the writing in Shibden Hall is Sally Wainwright at her boldest and best.
"In dramatising the life and loves of Anne Lister, Sally might just have found her most complex and uncompromising female character yet and I’m so proud that they will be making their home BBC One.”
The drama will be broadcast on BBC One and HBO, and filming for the series will start next year.