Wilde: Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland

Pdf Wilde, Lady Jane. Ancient legends, mystic charms and superstitions of Ireland: With sketches of the Irish past. London: Chatto and Windus, 1919.
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Lady Jane Francesca Agnes Wilde (born Jane Francesca Elgee) 1821(c.) – 1896 was born in Dublin. She married Sir William Wilde in 1851, and they had three children: William, Oscar (the famous Irish playwright, poet and author) and Isola.

She was a poet and gifted linguist, and translated works from French and German. A strong supporter of the nationalist movement in Ireland, she wrote for the revolutionary Young Ireland movement in the 1840s and published poems under the pseudonym of Speranza (meaning ‘hope’) in the paper The Nation. The paper was shut down by the British authorities following anti-British and pro-Irish independence writing.

In 1879, following the death of her husband in 1876, she moved to London where her two sons lived.

The Ancient Legends of Ireland was first published in 1888. When writing this book, she used much of her husband’s research material for his book Irish Popular Superstitions. The final chapter of Ancient Legends of Ireland, “The Ancient Races of Ireland” is entirely written by Sir William Wilde. The book tells the folk stories and legends of Ireland, including those surrounding the fairies, holy wells, animals, festivals and many more. They were collected from people around the country, and many were believed to be true at the time Lady Wilde gathered them together in this volume.

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