3 February - A Name They had Made Noble’: Reclaiming Speranza and William Wilde

Department of English

Dr Eibhear Walshe

Wednesday 3 February 3-4 pm


As writers, intellectuals and Irish nationalists, Speranza and William Wilde 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 Profundis, "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." In this paper, I discuss the ways in which my anthology reclaims the writings of Speranza and William Wilde as part of the public history of Ireland in the nineteenth century. Dr Eibhear Walshe is a senior lecturer in the School of English at University College Cork and Director of Creative Writing.. He has published in the area of memoir, literary criticism and biography, and his books include Kate O’Brien: a Writing Life (2006), Oscar’s Shadow: Wilde and Ireland (2012), and A Different Story: The Writings of Colm Tóbín (2013). His childhood memoir, Cissie’s Abattoir (2009) was broadcast on RTE’s Book on One. He published the Selected Writings of Speranza and William Wilde with Liverpool University Press in 2020.

College of Arts, Celtic Studies & Social Sciences

Coláiste na nEalaíon, an Léinn Cheiltigh agus na nEolaíochtaí Sóisialta

College Office, Room G31 ,Ground Floor, Block B, O'Rahilly Building, UCC