Eighteenth-Century Women's Names
After searching the Web far and wide for a page of eighteenth-century
English women's names to give my characters, and finding nothing,
I gave up and compiled this on my own.
There are certain names which were inescapable for the entire period,
and for centuries before and after. They're boringbecause
we still hear them every day.
In 1702, William III died, and the ruling house of England passed
from the hands of the Scots/French Stuarts to the German Hanovers.
The new king, George I, was a crass old fart who spoke barely a
word of English. His son, George II, was slightly less crass and
slightly better at English; and George II's grandson, George III,
was a bluff but amiable and decent man who spoke excellent English,
though perhaps with a slight German accent.
With this tide of Georges came a flood of new names, and a revival
of a few old Teutonic names long-lost. These names rapidly trickled
down through society, until a few generations later, even the occasional
charwoman bore them.
The Georges' English-born daughters were named:
Authoresses, Artists, Playwrights, Poetesses, and Philosophers
These women were generally of the upper classes, or at least from
the upper strata of the middle class.
Maria (pronounced "Mariah")
Several steps farther down the social scale, John Cleland, author
of the Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (better known as Fanny
Hill), thought these names evocative enough to give to his midcentury
maidservants and kept women:
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