Chase of the Wild Goose: The Story of Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby, known as the Ladies of Llangollen

Vanessa Bell, dust jacket of "Chase of the Wild Goose: The Story of Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby, known as the Ladies of Llangollen"
E.J. Pratt Library

Rights Holder

Henrietta Garnett

Author

Mary Gordon

Description

A collective biography of two women who lived together for fifty years without being separated for a single day. The author suggests that the book has been written to provide a more accurate account of their lives since 'all kinds of exaggerated or untrue stories have been in circulation regarding the reasons for, and the manner of their fight from Ireland. There still exists no biographical account of them which is not in one particular or another based on hearsay, phantasy, or empty conjecture, and the reconstruction of their very interesting story at this date demands the use of various artist's material' (11). The narrative itself is constructed from the women's fragmentary diaries. There is a good deal of interesting reflections on constructing a coherent biographical narrative from a paucity of materials, and Gordon suggests that her methodology is slightly unconventional: 'as for my last chapters, each reader with interpret them according to his own opinion of ghosts.' (13)

Genre

Biography

Original Language

English

Publication Date