The Ladies of Llangollen

Irish women Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby turned heads when they ran away from unwanted marriages and went to Wales to write poetry, commune with nature, and contemplate life. Butler and Ponsonby became known as the “Ladies of Llangollen” (pronounced “lan-goth-len”) and routinely invited guests to talk about art and literature. Richard Mansergh St. George visited the Ladies in 1788 and entertained them with sketches and stories of his travels to Italy. Butler described St. George as “one of the most pleasing men I ever conversed with.”

The Ladies of Llangollen
Printed by Day & Hagheafter James Henry Lynch
© National Portrait Gallery, London