Homosexuality & Civilization

An archive of poetry, pictures, history, and quotes dedicated to queer individuals before the year 1900.

The title is an homage to a book by Louis Crompton, but the blog will contain content expressing all forms of sexuality and gender identity.

Have a question or request for a certain artist or era? Feel free to leave a message in the askbox. Submissions are open (please provide a date and source).

The manager of this tumblr does not add commentary or provide translations. This blog may be NSFW.



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An oil picture on canvas of the Ladies of Llangollen, circa 1880 by James Lynch.


The Ladies were Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, who became a subject of much debate when they both lived unmarried together in a house in Plas Newydd for over sixty years. They had many famous visitors and drew national attention, although they themselves remained secluded from society for most of their lives.
William Wordsworth met them in 1824 and composed this sonnet as a result, some of which is reproduced here:
In ours, the Vale of Friendship, let ‘this’ spot Be named; where, faithful to a low-roofed Cot, On Deva’s banks, ye have abode so long; Sisters in love, a love allowed to climb, Even on this earth, above the reach of Time!

An oil picture on canvas of the Ladies of Llangollen, circa 1880 by James Lynch.

The Ladies were Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, who became a subject of much debate when they both lived unmarried together in a house in Plas Newydd for over sixty years. They had many famous visitors and drew national attention, although they themselves remained secluded from society for most of their lives.

William Wordsworth met them in 1824 and composed this sonnet as a result, some of which is reproduced here:

In ours, the Vale of Friendship, let ‘this’ spot
Be named; where, faithful to a low-roofed Cot,
On Deva’s banks, ye have abode so long;
Sisters in love, a love allowed to climb,
Even on this earth, above the reach of Time!

  1. agentflamingotonguecowrie reblogged this from havingbeenbreathedout
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  3. ravengoodwoman reblogged this from havingbeenbreathedout and added:
    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
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  5. havingbeenbreathedout reblogged this from tartanfics and added:
    There ought to be LOTS of books, though I haven’t actually read any full-length ones to recommend. But I know that...
  6. loved-light reblogged this from homosexualityandcivilization
  7. lbmisscharlie reblogged this from tartanfics and added:
    I haven’t actually read it yet, but on my shelf I have Elizabeth Mavor’s The Ladies of Llangollen which looks promising....
  8. tartanfics reblogged this from theodoradove and added:
    I’ve encountered these ladies recently in Anne Lister’s diary; she took a trip to Wales in 1822 and met Miss Ponsonby....
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