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.
She wrote poems for The Nation, a nationalist newspaper published 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 protagonist to meet up with in Dublin 1846.
Being a woman, in those times, she was overshadowed in later life by her husband, a famous Dublin surgeon, and her son, Oscar.