Laurel Ulrich

300th Anniversary Professor

The Ladies of Llangollen
To Lady Frances Douglas

In 1778, Sarah Ponsonby and Eleanor Butler made history by running away together to a remote cottage in Wales, where they became known as “The Ladies of Llangollen.” Ten years later they tucked a hand-lettered book and delicate silver purse into an embroidered portfolio as a gift for an aristocratic patron. I first saw this enchanting object while searching for materials to use in an exhibit mounted in 2011 alongside a new General Education course. I later explored their lives and legend in “A Gift from the Ladies of Llangollen,” in Tangible Things: Making History through Objects (2015).

Two quilted components – 5.25 L x 3.75 W x 0.25 Th (in); metal pouch – 4.25 L x 2.75 W (in)
MS Eng 1225. Purchased with the Amy Lowell fund, 1964