On Sunday the 28th of July 1839 Anne Lister and wife Ann Walker enter Norway from Sweden via ferry across Svinesund. For a fortnight they travel by horse and carriage from the Swedish border up to Christiania (Oslo), through Bærum and Drammen to Bolkesjø, hoping for a good look at the Gaustad mountain. Returning to Christiania much the same way, they then enter the Prinds Carl and set sail back to Gothenburg.

This Norway trip is documented in Anne Lister’s own travel journal, which can be found at West Yorkshire Archives in Calderdale, UK.

Anne Lister (1791-1840) is famous for her prolific and detailed diary writings, and since late summer 2019, I and a number of other volunteers have taken part in a project to transcribe Anne Lister’s diaries.

Anne Lister diary

Some of the travel journals from 1839 never made it into the main diaries and are not included in the ongoing transcription project. Being a Norsie myself I thought it would be very interesting to transcribe and explore the Norwegian part of these last travels of Anne Lister and Ann Walker.

On this website you will find transcripts of the travel journal alongside imagery and some deliberations around the sights and adventures Anne and Ann encounter during their journey through Norway.

It’s a fun read, especially for anyone familiar with Norway and the country’s traditions. There are detailed nature descriptions, food commentary and bits and pieces of sosio political information and customs, plus a dash of gossip.

In the papers July 31: “Announced Travelers. (…) Madame A. Lister and miss (maiden) Walter [sic] with servant, from London, at Hotel du Nord.” (Never mind the multiple errors …)

Looking into the places and people etc that Anne mentions has led to some good findings and illustrations, and aslo newspaper clippings that will be in part displayed at an upcoming exhibition titled De te fabula narratur. This web page will give a background for the Anne Lister part of this exhibition.

The Oslo gallery Kunstplass (on commission from Norsk Kulturhistorisk Museum) will be curating the exhibition, where highlights and documents related to this journey will be included as one of the main installations. The exhibit was meant to open in June 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the exhibit to be postponed til 2021. A digital intro-exhibit is made available during Pride 2020.

Watch the preview exhibit – available now!