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  • Writer's pictureBridget Walsh

Speranza, Lady Jane Wilde, and my historical novel

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

Speranza is the pen name for Jane Elgee, later Lady Jane Wilde (27 December 1821 – 3 February 1896). A Wexford woman, poet, Young Irelander and mother of Oscar Wilde.

The Great Hunger

Speranza wrote poems and articles for The Nation, a nationalist newspaper published in Dublin at the time of the Great Famine and drew attention to the starving women and children of Ireland. She was the perfect historical figure for my protagonists to meet up with in 1846/47.

Characters in 'Daughters of the Famine Way.'

Annie Power, was a poet, and Speranza mentored her and published some of her poems. Jane Keating, a Famine orphan, with help from Annie's connections at The Nation, and, disguised as a young man, got a job as a trainee typesetter. This will come in useful when Jane is transported to Australia.


Many thanks for reading this.

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