July 30, 2014 § 6 Comments
From the Aramaic for “lady” or “mistress”.
VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Madge, Maddie, Maddy, Marita, Mart, Marta, Marte, Marty, Mat, Mattie, Matty, Pat (from Mat, I guess), Patsy, Pattie, Patty, etc.
REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
– Martha, the chambermaid hired to work at the orphanage, in “Polly’s Valentine” from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
– Martha Abbott, a servant Jane once overheard Bessie gossiping with on the subject of presentiments, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
– Martha Crawley, née MacTavish, the Rev. Bute Crawley’s wife in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
– Miss Martha Crawley, one of the Rev. Bute Crawley’s daughters in Vanity Fair.
– Martha G., mentioned in the Child’s Guide pamphlet Mr. Brocklehurst gives to Jane at their first meeting, urging her to “read it with prayer, especially that part containing ‘An account of the awfully sudden death of Martha G—, a naughty child addicted to falsehood and deceit'”, in Jane Eyre.
– Martha Gilbreth (b. 1909), the fourth of the dozen Gilbreth children whose upbringing is related in Cheaper By the Dozen (1948) and Belles on Their Toes (1950), written by Frank Gilbreth, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey.
– Martha Griswold, one of snobbish Jessica Hurstwood’s schoolmates, who is scorned for her poor family, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
– Martha Hilton, the kitchen maid Gen. Benning Wentworth married, mentioned in “That Little Smith Girl” from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
– Martha Jocelyn, Angela’s older sister, whose disillusionment has made her slightly bitter, in “An April Fool”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
– Martha Langston, David’s dear departed mother, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.
– Martha Pierce, the aunt Zeena Frome stays with while in Bettsbridge to see the doctor, in Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome (written in 1911, but set in the 1890s or first few years of the 1900s).
– Martha Sharpe, a friend of Miss Anne Steele’s, with whom she shared many confidences for her sister Lucy to eavesdrop on, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
– Martha Finley (1828-1909), American author and educator who sometimes wrote under the pen name “Martha Farquharson”.
– Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998), American journalist, novelist, and travel writer.
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