Selected Writings of Speranza and William Wilde

BookSelected Writings of Speranza and William Wilde

Selected Writings of Speranza and William Wilde

Clemson University Press


July 21st, 2020



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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.

Author Information

Eibhear Walshe is the Director of Creative Writing and a senior lecturer in the School of Modern English at University College Cork. His biography Kate O’Brien A Writing Life was published by Irish Academic Press in 2006 and he edited Elizabeth Bowen: Visions and Revisions for Irish Academic Press in 2008. He was a section editor for The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Volume 4 (Cork University Press, 2002), a contributor to the New Dictionary of Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), and guest edited The Irish Review in 2000. His other publications include the edited collections Ordinary People Dancing: Essays on Kate O’Brien (Cork University Press 1993), Sex, Nation and Dissent ( Cork University Press:1997), Elizabeth Bowen Remembered (Four Courts Press: 1999), and The Plays of Teresa Deevy ( Mellen Press: 2003.) He co-edited Representing the Troubles (Four Courts: 2004) with Brian Cliff, Molly Keane: Centenary Essays (Four Courts: 2006) with Gwenda Young, and Imagination in the Classroom (Four Courts: 2012) with Anne Fogarty and Eilis Ni Dhuibhne. In 2011 he edited Elizabeth Bowen’s Selected Irish Writings for Cork University Press. Oscar’s Shadow: Wilde, Homosexuality and Ireland was published by Cork University Press in 2012 and A Different Story: the Writings of Colm Toibin was published by Irish Academic Press in 2013. Eibhear Walshe’s memoir, Cissie’s Abattoir, was published by Collins Press in 2009 and his first novel, The Diary of Mary Travers, appeared in 2015 and was nominated for the Dublin International IMPAC Award and the Kerry Group Book of the Year.