The R.t Hon.ble Lady Eleanor Butler & Miss Ponsonby"The Ladies of Llangollen". [Facsimile signatures below.]
Ent.d at Stationer's Hall. [n.d., c.1835.]
Tinted lithograph, very large margins. Printed area 280 x 180mm (11 x 7").
Portraits of two Irish upper-class women who scandalised society by living together in complete isolation from society in a cottage at Plasnewydd in the vale of Llangollen, Denbighshire. Sarah Ponsonby (c.1755-1831) was second cousin of Frederick Ponsonby, 3rd Earl of Bessborough; Lady Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1745? - 1829) was related to the Earls of Ormond. No one knew their names so they were just called ‘the ladies’. Their devotion to each other and their eccentric manners gave them wide notoriety: all tourists in Wales sought introduction to them, and among their visitors were the writers Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron and Walter Scott, as well as the Duke of Wellington, Josiah Wedgwood and Queen Charlotte, who persuaded George III to grant them a pension. With their servant, Mary Caryll, who died before either of them, they lie buried in Plasnewydd churchyard under a triangular pyramid inscribed with their names. Their house in now a museum.
[Ref: 34613] £160.00