The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast

The Ladies of Llangollen - The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast Episode 59

September 25, 2020

The Ladies of Llangollen

The Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast - Episode 59

Most people interested in lesbian history know the basic story of Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, known as the Ladies of Llangollen. I take on their story by presenting it through extended quotations from their own writings, from accounts of people who met them, and from poetry written in their honor.

In this episode we talk about:

  • Why it took me so long to get to this topic, and why The Ladies hold a special place in my heart
  • Letters from Sarah Ponsonby’s relatives on the occasion of her elopement
  • Excerpts from Eleanor Butler’s journal
  • “Llangollen Vale” by Anna Seward
  • A sonnet dedicated to Butler and Ponsonby by William Wordsworth
  • Description of visits, from Eleanor Butler’s journal
  • Entries from Anne Lister’s diaries relating to her trip to Wales and her visit with Sarah Ponsonby
  • A newspaper article about Butler and Ponsonby that inspired them to consider a lawsuit
  • Why I consider The Ladies of Llangollen to be lesbian icons

Some resources

Sources for the texts

This topic is discussed in one or more entries of the Lesbian Historic Motif Project here:

A transcript of this podcast is available here.

Links to the Lesbian Historic Motif Project Online

Links to Heather Online

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