Character of the Week: English Regency Miss Names

This is yet another character in search of a genre. Gothic Romance, perhaps?

The Writer Describes the Character

Female, about 18 years old in the 1790s or early 1800s 

She lives in the Southern English countryside. Her father owns a very small piece of land—he is a gentleman, but of small fortune. Her mother comes from a wealthier family. 

Other characters: Henry Taylor is a love interest; Mary and Anne are her sisters; her parents are John and Anne; her cousins are Charles and Louisa; her frenemy is Isabella; and her good friend is Eleanor or Caroline (Also undecided on that name!). She also interacts with Elizabeth and Edward, distant family members. 

She is stubborn, individualistic, believes herself to be better and smarter than everyone else, but she has a loving heart, and cares deeply for those dear to her. She is brave and will stand up for what she believes to be right. Oh—and she can see ghosts. 

Historical Fiction / Fantasy / Romance (I’m all over the place!) 

Today I would name this character differently. Today I know more than I did a few years ago.

With this character I tried to look up names from that time in English history, but (this is sad to admit) I did not realize that this time period was Georgian Era (AKA Regency Era in terms of fashion). I am now learning more about this era, the fashion, the manners, and Miss Jane Austen’s writings in particular. Now I would probably suggest that this writer choose surnames first, since those were more in use than Christian names for most people in that era.

My Reply to the Writer

Period accurate names beyond Mary or Elizabeth.

  • Augusta
  • Susannah
  • Amalia
  • Virginia
  • Sophie

This writer did not get back to me about the name chosen, but I don’t mind since I wish I could do this naming all over again. That’s how things go with writing: You make choices, you do your best on a deadline, and then you have to let go. Unless you actually get a chance to do it all over again.

 

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