In 1778, Eleanor Butler, 39, and Sarah Ponsonby, 23, eloped. With each other. The two women set up house in a cottage near Llangollen, Wales, and lived there together until their deaths, over 50 years later. The Ladies of Llangollen, as they became known, attracted the interest and friendship of many of the influential figures of the times, from royalty to poets and scientists. Wordsworth wrote poetry while staying in their cottage, and they were great friends with the Duke of Wellington. Whether or not the two ladies enjoyed a sexual relationship is (and probably forever will be) a matter of speculation. But that they enjoyed a romantic relationship, and behaved in all ways as if married to each other, is a matter of fact. Their simple way of life, their humour and strong opinions, and their devotion to one another shines clearly through Sarah's account book and Eleanor's journals, as well as their voluminous joint correspondence. Elizabeth Mavor brings it all together in this wonderful biography of two extraordinary women, far ahead of their time.
Progress toward goals: 317/365 = 86.8%
Books: 83/100 = 83.0%
Pages: 21107/25000 = 84.4%
2009 Book List
cross-posted to 15000pages, 50bookchallenge, and gwynraven