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Selected Writings of Speranza and William Wilde

Edited by Eibhear Walshe

This is the first contemporary edition of the scholarly writings of Jane Wilde, known as Speranza (1821–1896) and William Wilde (1815–1876), an edition of their selected poems, translations, travel writings, medical observations, literary criticism, folklore and political commentary. This project engages with contemporary scholarly interest in Wilde studies and on the influence of Ireland within the work of Oscar Wilde. As writers, intellectuals and Irish nationalists,  Speranza and William Wilde themselves were key in the awakening of the Celtic Imagination with their innovative and ground-breaking work as scholars, folklorists and cultural historians of Gaelic traditions The reputations of both Speranza and William Wilde suffered with their son’s disgrace and he was himself keenly aware of their impressive nature of their achievements, writing in his prison testament De Profunds, “She and my father had bequeathed me a name they had made noble and honoured, not merely in literature, art, archaeology, and science, but in the public history of my own country, in its evolution as a nation.” This anthology reclaims the writings of Speranza and William Wilde as part of the public history of Ireland in the nineteenth century.

About the Editor

Eibhear Walshe is the Director of Creative Writing and a senior lecturer in the School of Modern English at University College Cork. He is the author of Kate O’Brien: A Writing Life and he edited Elizabeth Bowen: Visions and Revisions.

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Pages: 282 pages

Published: July 2020


ISBN: 9781949979251

ISBN: 9781949979268


Irish Literature


Boston College Irish Studies Series