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 Jane Francesca “Speranza” Wilde

Jane Francesca “Speranza” Wilde

Original Name Elgee
Birth
Wexford, County Wexford, Ireland
Death 3 Feb 1896 (aged 74)
Chelsea, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Greater London, England
Burial Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England
Plot She was buried in a paupers grave, which until recently was unmarked.
Memorial ID 21626 · View Source
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Irish Poet, Nationalist. She was the mother of the famous poet, writer dramatist and wit, Oscar Wilde. She was a well-educated, gifted linguist who published several translations of French and German works, including Wilhelm Meinhold’s Gothic horror novels and many others. She was also a staunch fighter for equality for women, promoting better education for them. She was an Irish poet and folklorist who wrote under the pen name "Speranza". She witnessed the funeral of Thomas Davis in 1845 and subsequently read his poetry, which awakened her to Irish nationalism. Since her works included pro-Irish independence and anti-British writings, she was know as "Speranza of the Nation". As the wife of Sir William Wilde, she had three children; in 1867 their only daughter died suddenly of a fever at the age of nine years old. In 1864, the same year her husband was knighted, she was sued for slander by the daughter of her husband's colleague and lost thousands of dollars; in 1871, her husband's two daughters died in a fire, and then in 1876, her husband died. After all this heartache, she learned that her family was now in financial ruins. At this point, she moved to London to be with her son William and wrote articles and books to maintain a living. In January of 1896, she was dying with bronchitis, yet was refused permission to visit her son Oscar while he was in prison; he was not permitted to attend her funeral. While in prison, he paid for her funeral but her grave was unmarked until 1999 when the Oscar Wilde Society erected a Celtic Cross. Her main works include "Poems" in 1864 and 1871; "Memoir Of Gabriel Beranger with Sir William Wilde" in 1880; "Driftwood From Scandinavia" in 1884; "Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms, and Superstitions of Ireland". In 1888, Lady Jane Wilde added the chapter, "Sketches of the Irish Past," to “The Ancient Race of Ireland” by the late Sir William Wilde; Social Studies in 1893; and "Notes On Men, Women, And Books" in 1891. Her best-known work is a translation of Meinhold's "Sidonia the Sorceress". Lady Wilde's "nom de plume", Speranza (the Italian for 'Hope') came from her advocacy of the cause of Irish freedom.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Apr 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21626
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jane Francesca “Speranza” Wilde (27 Dec 1821–3 Feb 1896), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21626, citing Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensal Green, London Borough of Brent, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .