What happened to the real Marian Lister?

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Gentleman Jack has returned for its second outing on BBC One, bringing Anne Lister’s (played by Suranne Jones) famous diaries to life. Besides her romantic relationship with fellow landowner Ann Walker (Sophie Rundle), the period drama also highlights Lister’s connection with her sibling Marian (Gemma Whelan). While they may be sisters, Anne and Marian couldn’t be more different.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Gentleman Jack.

Marian is very much used to living in her sister’s shadow as she dominates most conversations and always has an interesting plan up her sleeve.

In the season two premiere, Marian is seen chasing after Anne to pass on a message, desperately trying to keep up with her busy lifestyle.

But “despite their differences, Marian is sensitive and cares deeply about her sister’s emotional wellbeing.”.

Fans did grow concerned for Marian’s welfare though in this first episode.

The Lister sister was seen coughing and spluttering in more than one scene in the premiere.

This led viewers to believe that there could be a dark storyline on the way which could involve Marian’s demise.

Jess wrote on Twitter: “That cough is going to be bad news isn’t it #GentlemanJack.”

While Michelle Benson added: “Oh no… coughing in a period drama never ends well.. #GentlemanJack.”

What happened to the real Marian Lister?

In real-life, Marian got engaged to rug maker John Abbott in 1834, which is when season two is set – so a love story could be brewing in these new episodes.

Abbott is portrayed by actor John Hollingworth who has been in The Queen’s Gambit, Rebecca and The Crown.

Even though there were plans for them to get wed, Marian never did marry.

She left Shibden Hall in 1836 and returned to live at the family’s Skelfer estate after the death of her and Anne’s dad Jeremy.

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Marian may be coughing a worrying amount in this new series but there is no need to fear.

In reality, Anne’s sister did not die an early death so Marian is expected to still feature in Gentleman Jack.

In fact, Marian outlived Anne who died in September 1840 of a prolonged fever.

The younger sibling lived for another four decades, passing away in August 1882 at the age of 84.

She is now buried in the family’s grave at St Anne’s Church, West Yorkshire.

Gentleman Jack season two will consist of eight episodes in total on BBC One.

The second instalment is going to air on Sunday, April 17 and will be called Two Jacks Don’t Suit

The description reads: “In France, Ann Walker is shocked by details about Anne Lister’s complicated relationship with Mariana Lawton.”

Gentleman Jack season 2 continues every Sunday at 9pm on BBC One.

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