96. Ladies of Llangollen

Two rare and historic poems written by the famous “Ladies of Llangollen” will go under the hammer next month.

The autographed pieces by best friends Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby are valued at £400-500 by auctioneers Bonhams.

They are the first poems written by the pair to be sold at auction for 40 years and are part of the finest collection of poetry to go under the hammer. (…)

Lady Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1739-1829) and Sarah Ponsonby (1755-1832) met as children while living as neighbours in Ireland in 1768.

They became firm friends and over the years formulated plans to live together in order to avoid being forced into marriages for which neither had an appetite.

Encountering family hostility, they fled abroad and settled in Llangollen in 1780.

Living at first a largely secluded life devoted to literature and gardening, the ladies soon attracted national attention and their visitors included leading lights of the day such as the Duke of Wellington, Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron and Sir Walter Scott. / Gary Porter, Daily Post

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