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The Rt Honble Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby …
image id: ps_cps_cd3_038

Unknown artist
The Rt Honble Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Ponsonby …
Lithograph, after 1831
NYPL, The Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle

Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, genteel Irishwomen who eloped to Wales, were famous for their romantic devotion to each other, and became known as the Ladies of Llangollen. Although obviously a couple, they were outraged and wounded by rumors that they were lovers. Their overt passions were gardening, reading, and home improvement, which they indulged shamelessly, and an energetic correspondence. Paradoxically, their remoteness and wish for retirement attracted the outside world, and they received visitors such as William Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott, the writer Mme de Genlis, the young Charles Darwin, and the Duke of Wellington.

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