sarah ponsonby

‘In 1778, two Irish gentlewomen put on men’s clothing and ran away together.  Lady Eleanor Butler had received several offers of marriage but was determined to share her life with her friend Sarah Ponsonby. […] They spent the rest of their lives in a black and white house called Plas Newydd outside Llangollen, cultivating their garden, improving their minds and filling the house with clocks, cabinets and “whirligigs of every shape and hue”.  [They also had] a little dog called Sapho.’

Graham Robb, Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century

An oil picture on canvas of the Ladies of Llangollen, circa 1880 by James Lynch.

The Ladies were Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, who became a subject of much debate when they both lived unmarried together in a house in Plas Newydd for over sixty years. They had many famous visitors and drew national attention, although they themselves remained secluded from society for most of their lives.

William Wordsworth met them in 1824 and composed this sonnet as a result, some of which is reproduced here:

In ours, the Vale of Friendship, let ‘this’ spot
Be named; where, faithful to a low-roofed Cot,
On Deva’s banks, ye have abode so long;
Sisters in love, a love allowed to climb,
Even on this earth, above the reach of Time!

lazylaziel  asked:

Fun fact about Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby. Sarah (I believe) kept a diary and there was no mention of sex in it. However, she -did- write that she suffered from severe headaches that kept them in bed. Both of them. Aaaaaaaall day long. Frequently.

omg those saucy minxes. 

they must have just been cackling at the world like “u dumb”