Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My hero Speranza

Woohoo! Thanks to Jan Morrison, I've reached 200 followers! Very exciting on my ongoing Blogiversary (in case you missed it, the actual day was October 1 but I can't make up my mind what the prizes should be so we'll be celebrating until the month is over) which I've extended because I began blogging during NaBlogWriMo. Really I should thank each and every one of you! Such a community! Such great friends!

I am currently reading a biography of Oscar Wilde by Richard Ellman. As delightful a character as imagined, I am thoroughly enjoying my time in the great author's life. I was delighted to find his mother, Jane Francesca Agnes, Lady Wilde (born Jane Francesca Elgee in Dublin) aka Speranza (her self dubbed nickname) had as lyrically a lived life as did he. She was a writer and a firebrand for women's rights. In an essay called "The Bondage of Woman" she wrote "We have now traced the history of women from Paradise to the nineteenth century, and have heard nothing through the long toll of the ages but the clank of their fetters."  (p.9, Ellman)
Her son adored her and his adoration was articulated in his writing in 'The Importance of Being Ernest' Algernon says, "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his." 
Like so many women today (does this sound familiar?), she "improved on reality" as Ellman says it (as did her son- he always "imroves" his age -lol) She said, when pressed about her age, "she responded airily that her birth had never been recorded, no Registry Office having been required when giants still walked the earth." (p.7) 
I love that! I love women with such character, such panache.. such style! And I love that she had the guts to be a feminist when it took so much courage to be one.  
Who are your favorite women?  


  1. I can't think of any favorite women but I like female writers such as Emily Bronte and Charlotte Bronte and Alice Hoffman - anyone that spins great tales.

    visiting from NaBloWriMo. have a lovely day.

  2. My favorite women are my friend Tomeka who lives in Detroit, my friend Meg who lives down the street, Dr. Kerry McKeever (my college professor who said I had a talent for writing),and a woman named Danette who blogs from Colorado.

    You didn't specify that they had to be famous people. I prefer my heroes to be "in the flesh" people that I can communicate with.

    But if we are talking people who will never ever acknowledge my existence they might be:

    1) Oprah
    2) Michelle Obama
    3) Kathleen Kennedy (she has helped Steven Spielberg make his movies for the last thirty-forty years and even though I have no idea who she actually is...I've seen her name in credits enough to be impressed).
    4) Hillary Clinton
    5) Jane Austen

    Honorable mention: I thought about including Harper Lee in this list but I'm sticking to my guns of what I said to her image on an article from the New Yorker when she said she was finally willing to give an interview about writing "To Kill A Mockingbird". I said, "Who gives a shit what you think and what you have to say Harper? You had your chance. You've had fifty plus years to tell us about 'To Kill A Mockingbird'--half a century to speak your peace and you turned your back on us readers and refused an interview instead being an old bitty that never wrote another book and hid like a recluse in her house. So I repeat, WHO CARES!?" I certainly don't.

  3. Michael: I am so thrilled to have made your list Michael! And you're right I didn't specify. I don't care if they're alive or not. I don't have any women alive right now who are my heroes-- oops that's not true... Elizabeth Warren, Naomi Klein and Barbara Ehrenreich. They all tell the hard truth to Americans when they don't want to hear it. But I wasn't making a complete list so I just posted my most recent find- the Lady Wilde. I should have put them though I guess. And how is that you feel about Harper Lee again???? LOL!

    Lissa: All good choices! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. 200 followers, way to go!! Very cool :)

  5. Congrats on the blogversary!

    I love reading about cool women. My favorite is my own mother. :) She's one tough lady.


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