A Critical Biography of Lady Jane Wilde (1821(?) - 1896): Irish Revolutionist, Humanist, Scholar and Poet

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The focus of this study is upon a progressive woman whose broad erudition allowed her to write on a great variety of subjects. Her own life as a revolutionist and writer, and her writings about women will interest those in women’s studies. As an Irish nationalist in a movement that had considerable influence on subsequent nationalist leaders like Arthur Griffin, her views in her revolutionary poems and articles are still pertinent.


“. . . a scholarly and attentive reading. . . . ranges over the scope of Lady Wilde’s life and writings, attempting to fathom the two parts of her personality, both the depth of her intellect and erudition as well as ‘the intensity of her suffering.’ . . . . The chapters on the Irish nationalist movement reveal Tipper’s extensive knowledge of Irish history, as well as Lady Wilde’s passionate concern for the Irish. . . . .Jane’s personal quest for salvation and her sense of moral rightness certainly colored her views of literature as well, as Tipper shows in a lengthy section on Lady Wilde’s literary criticism. . . latter chapters of the book turn more to lady Wilde’s life and her husband’s career. . . . tipper’s book is at its best as it explores these conflicts.” – James Gallant

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Preface; Foreword
Introduction: Intellect, Ambition, Tragedy
1. Jane as Nationalist: The Spoilage of ancestral lands; Mental subjugation; Survival of the Heritage; Protestant nationalism; words as Weapons; Jane as Political Activist
2. Heroes
3. Daniel O’Connell: Questionable Hero
4. The Young Irelanders: True Heroes (“The Railway Article,” the Sword Speech, and the Secession; The Irish Confederation
5. A Failed Insurrection
6. Speranza and The Nation: Revolutionist, Humanist
7. Speranza and the Great Famine
8. The Poet as Teacher: Selections for Irish Children; Thomas Moore; Philip James Bailey; Wordsworth; Tennyson; The Vision of the Vatican
9. Jane as Teacher: An Analysis of her Poetry
10. Jane as Woman of Letters
11. Early Scholarship: Jean Paul Richter; Calderon; Charles Kean as King Richard
12. Later Scholarship: World Leaders; Lord Lytton; Disraeli and “Endymion”
13. Jane as Progressive Woman: The Bondage of Woman; American Women
14. Women Writers: Miss Martineau; George Eliot; Lady Blessington
15. The Role of Women: Venus Victrix; The Suitability of Dress; Social Graces
16. Marriage with a Genius: Genius and Marriage; Stella and Vanessa; Spiritual Affinity
17. William Wilde: An Ideal Husband: Marriage; William Wilde – versatile genius; Surgeon Oculist in Ordinary to the Queen; unconventional nature of genius
18. A Life of Sorrow
Brief Chronology of Jane’s Life; Publication dates of Jane’s verse; Bibliography; index

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