By Elizabeth Mavor
242 pages +xiv, 10 B/W plates
New edition. Published 2011
In 1778 two women ran away from their aristocratic homes in Ireland to make a new life together. Disowned by their families, they were soon in debt, but persevered towards their goal of living together in independence and seclusion. They settled in Llangollen, in Wales, and converted their cottage, Plas Newydd, into the Gothic residence of their dreams. They achieved celebrity status in Regency society, many of whose members visited the cottage to enjoy the Ladies company and wit and to admire their achievements and special domestic arrangements.
ELIZABETH MAVOR brings these two colourful characters vividly to life in this well researched and beautifully written account, examines the nature of their intimate relationship, the relevance or otherwise of the term ‘lesbian’, and the notion of ‘romantic friendship’ in the eighteenth century and later.