Daughter of a Lancashire blacksmith, Ellen Sharples was the driving force behind a remarkable family of artists. Based in Bath and Bristol, she sailed to America twice, was imprisoned during the French Revolution and painted the first five US presidents. She supported the family financially, educated her daughter Rolinda and trained her to become a painter of contemporary events.
Though her life and her legacy are little known, Ellen was a Georgian era pioneer. She created one of the early Academies of Art, where for the first time women could study on equal terms with men. Author Hazel Gower quotes from Ellen’s journal to explore this unusual mother daughter relationship, presenting an inspiring portrait of the pair. Chronicling their passion, commitment and resourcefulness, this is the forgotten story of two women artists and their adventurous lives on both sides of the Atlantic.