Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ladies and Gentleman's Names

As we create our regency shows in the style of the venerable Jane Austen, we endeavor to never forget one of the basic rules of improv, namely to name all the characters in our shows and then remember those names throughout the performance! While we do at times take liberties and use modern names and places (gasp!), we do try our best to use actual regency names, particularly those that appear in Jane Austen's novels! Here are some names that come up often:

Real People’s Names

"There are fewer women's names to be gleaned simply because women appear less often in public documents....

Albina; Amelia; Anna/Ann/Anne; Augusta; Barbara; Caroline; Catherine; Cecilia; Charlotte; Diana; Dorothea; Eleanor; Eliza; Elizabeth; Ellen; Emily; Emma; Esther; Florentia; Frances; Frederica; Georgiana; Georgina; Harriet/Harriette; Helena; Henrietta; Horatia; Isabella; Jane; Jean; Jemima; Jessie; Joanna; Julia; Juliana; Juliet; Katherine; Laura; Lilias; Louisa; Louisa-Margaretta; Lucy; Lucy-Anne; Lydia; Madalene; Margaret; Maria; Marianne; Martha; Mary; Mary-Anne; Patience; Sarah; Selina; Sophia; Susan; Theodosia; Uriana

Men's names have more variety since there are more examples available, and occasionally men were given names based on family surnames. However, there was a great preference for royal names: William, George, Henry, John, Edward, Charles. One has to wonder if the practice of calling men by their surnames was because there was more variety there than in the Christian names!

Adam; Adolphus; Alexander; Algernon; Allan; Americus; Andrew; Anthony; Archibald; Arthur; Augustus; Aylmer; Baldwin; Bamber; Barrington; Benjamin; Brook; Busick (I think Uriana and Busick would make a great couple!); Carew; Cecil; Chaloner; Chapple; Charles; Coape; Colin; Cornelius; David; Donald; Duncan; Edmund; Edward; Erasmus; Ernest; Ewan; Felton; Francis; Frederick; George; Gerard; Gibbs; Gilbert; Graham; Guy; Henry; Herbert; Hervey; Hew; Hildebrand; Horace; Hudson; Hugh

Isaac; Jahleel; James; Jasper; Jeffrey; John; Jonathan; Joseph; Laurence; Lewis; Lodge; Loftus; Ludlow; Michael; Nash; Nathaniel; Neil: Nicholas; Norman; Oliver; Percy; Peregrine; Peter; Philip; Phineas; Ralph; Rawden; Richard; Robert; Rollo; Sampson; Samuel; Snowley; Soulden; Stapleton; Stephen; Stratford; Thomas; Walter; William"

For even more names:
Women's Names in London
Women's Names in Bedford

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