Ebenezer

August 21, 2015 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
Hebrew, meaning “stone of help”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ben, Bennie, Benny, Eb, Ebb, Eben, Eben-ezer, Ebeneezer, Ez, Eez, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Ebenezer Carron (called “Eb“; b. 1843), Jethro’s cousin, a hot-headed young man who joins Tom in running off to enlist in the Union Army, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).

WRITERS:
Ebenezer Beesley (1840-1906), Anglo-American composer and hymn-writer.
E. (Ebenezer) Cobham Brewer (1810-1897), English lexicographer and writer.
Ebenezer Cooke (c.1665-c.1732), English poet and satirist.
Ebenezer Elliott (1781-1849), English activist and poet.
Ebenezer Erskine (1680-1754), Scottish minister and writer.
Ebenezer Forrest (fl. 1774), English attorney, dramatist, and writer.
Ebenezer Jones (1820-1860), English poet.
Ebenezer Landells (1808-1860), English artist, children’s book writer, illustrator, and publisher.
Ebenezer Joseph Mather (1849-1927), English philanthropist and writer.
Ebenezer Porter (1772-1834), American minister, translator, and writer.
Ebenezer Prout (1835-1909), English composer, teacher, and writer.
Ebenezer Rhodes (1762-1839), English artist, editor, poet, publisher, topographer, and writer.
Ebenezer Platt Rogers (1817-1881), American author and minister.
Ebenezer Sibley (1751-c.1799), English astrologer, physician, and writer.
Ebenezer Syme (1825-1860), Scottish-Australian journalist and publisher.
Ebenezer Thomas (1802-1863), Welsh poet and teacher who also published under the pen name “Eben Fardd”.

Josiah

September 15, 2014 § 1 Comment

ORIGIN:
From Hebrew, meaning “Jehovah supports”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Iosias, Jos, Josias, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Josiah Bowden, the local parson in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Josiah Quincy, the “best young lawyer in Boston”, who defends Johnny against charges of theft and fraud, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).

WRITERS:
– Josiah Conder (1789-1855), English author and editor.
– Josiah Gregg (1806-1850), American author, explorer, merchant, and naturalist.
– Josiah Henson (1789-1883), American-Canadian abolitionist, author, and minister.
– Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819-1881), American novelist and poet who sometimes used the pen name “Timothy Titcomb”.
– Josiah Quincy III (1772-1864), American historian and politician.
– Josiah Priest (1788-1851), American pseudohistorical and pseudoscientific writer.
– Josiah Strong (1847-1916), American author, clergyman, editor, and organizer.
– Josiah Tucker (1713-1799), Welsh churchman, economist, and political writer.

Annamaria

September 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

ORIGIN:
Combination of “Anna” and “Maria“; variation of “Annemarie”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Anna Maria, Anna Marie, Anne Marie, Annamarie, Annemarie, Marian, Marianne, Maryann, Maryanna, Maryanne, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Annamaria, one of Sir John and Lady Middleton’s children, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).

WRITERS:
– Anna Maria Bennett (c. 1750-1808), English novelist (sometimes credited as “Agnes Maria Hall”)
– Anna Maria Bunn (1808-1889), Australian author.
– Anna Maria Falconbridge (1769-c. 1816), English writer.
– Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881), Irish novelist (sometimes credited as “Mrs. S.C. Hall”)
– Anna Maria Hussey (1805-1853), English scientist, writer, and illustrator.
– Anna Maria Lenngren (1754-1817), Swedish poet, translator, and writer.
– Anna Maria Ortese (1914-1998), Italian poet and short story writer.
– Anna Maria Porter (1780-1832), English poet and novelist.
– Anna Maria Rückerschöld (1725-1805), Swedish author.
– Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678), German-Dutch engraver, painter, poet, and scholar.
– Anna Maria Wells (c. 1794-1868), American poet and children’s book writer.

Esther

August 29, 2014 § 3 Comments

ORIGIN:
Possibly Persian, meaning “star”, or derived from “Ishtar”, the name of the Babylonian and Assyrian mother goddess of love, fertility, and war.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Aster, Eistir, Esfir, Essi, Essie, Esta, Estee, Ester, Estera, Esteri, Eszter, Eszti, Hester, Ishtar, Istar, Yesfir, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Esther Bowdoin, whose shabby home life belies her blue-blooded ancestry and artistic heritage, in “Esther Bodn”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Esther (or Edna or Etka) Kroll Shaine — “Esther in Hebrew, Edna in English, and Etka in Russian” — Lily’s increasingly-senile grandmother in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
You can find a good, solid starter list of writers named “Esther” in this post.

Sarah

August 6, 2014 § 8 Comments

ORIGIN:
Alternately spelled “Sara”, from Hebrew, meaning “lady” or “princess”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Cera, Cerah, Sadie, Sal, Sallie, Sally, Sairey, Sairy, Sara, Sarai, Saraih, Sarette, Sarey, Sari, Sariah, Sarina, Sarit, Sarita, Sary, Sera, Serah, Serita, Seryl, Sorale, Soralie, Sorella, Suri, Syril, Tzeitel, Zara, Zarah, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Sarah, a housemaid at the Reed’s house, Gateshead Hall, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Sarah Parsons, a neighbor of the Kennedy’s who is befriended by Ida Standish in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Sarah Reed (née Gibson), Jane’s selfish, hard-hearted aunt-by-marriage, in Jane Eyre.
Sarah Ridd, the lovely and good-hearted farmer’s widow who is mother to John, Annie, and Eliza, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).

WRITERS:
– Sarah Stickney Ellis (1799-1872), English author.
– Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), American writer and editor.
– Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909), American author.
– Sarah Chauncey Woolsey (1835-1905), American children’s book writer who published under the pen name “Susan Coolidge”.

Anna

August 6, 2014 § 9 Comments

ORIGIN:
From “Hannah” (as used in the Greek and Latin Old Testament), a version of the Hebrew name “Channah”, meaning “favor” or “grace”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Ana, Anabel, Anais, Andie, Andy, Aneke, Aneta, Ani, Ania, Anica, Anika, Anissa, Anita, Anitra, Anka, Anke, Ann, Annabel, Annabella, Annabelle, Anne, Anneke, Annetta, Annette, Annick, Annicka, Annie, Annika, Anniken, Annis, Anny, Anouk, Antje, Anushka, Anya, Channah, Hana, Hanna, Hannah, Hanne, Nainsi, Nan, Nancie, Nancy, Nanette, Nannie, Nanny, Nina, Ninon, Ona, Onna, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Anna Kronborg, Thea’s jealous and priggish older sister, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Anna Page, Sidney’s mother, who takes in boarders to help pay the bills after her sister, Harriet, leaves to start a dressmaking business, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Anna Raymond, the girl Dolly Lorton is gossiping about when her friend Sally Ware calls her on it, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Anna Richards, Mary Marcy’s friend and seat-mate, in “An April Fool”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Anna Snezak, co-owner (with her husband, Morris) of AnaMor Towers apartments, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).
Anna Weston, the baby girl possibly named for her mother, who signs her name “A. Weston” (née Taylor), in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Anna Winslow, president of the Mayflower Club in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.

WRITERS:
– Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966), pen name of Russian poet Anna Andreyevna Gorenko.
– Anna Laetitia Barbauld (1743-1825), English critic, editor, essayist, poet, and children’s book writer.
– Anna Maria Bennett (c. 1750-1808), English novelist (sometimes credited as “Agnes Maria Hall”)
– Anna Maria Bunn (1808-1889), Australian author.
– Anna Maria Falconbridge (1769-c. 1816), English writer.
– Anna Katherine Green (1846-1935), American poet and novelist.
– Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881), Irish novelist (sometimes credited as “Mrs. S.C. Hall”)
– Anna Maria Hussey (1805-1853), English scientist, writer, and illustrator.
– Anna Kavan (1901-1968), English novelist, short story writer, and painter.
– Anna Maria Lenngren (1754-1817), Swedish poet, translator, and writer.
– Anna Maria Ortese (1914-1998), Italian poet and short story writer.
– Anna Maria Porter (1780-1832), English poet and novelist.
– Anna Quindlen (b. 1953), American author, columnist, and journalist.
– Anna Maria Rückerschöld (1725-1805), Swedish author.
– Anna Seghers (1900-1983), pen name of German writer Anna Reiling.
– Anna Sewell (1820-1878), English novelist.
– Anna Maria van Schurman (1607-1678), German-Dutch engraver, painter, poet, and scholar.
– Anna Marie Wilhelmina (A.M.W.) Stirling (1865-1965), English author who published under the pen name “Percival Pickering”.
– Anna Maria Wells (c. 1794-1868), American poet and children’s book writer.
– Anna Wheeler (c. 1780-1848), Irish activist and writer.

James

August 2, 2014 § 14 Comments

ORIGIN:
From the same source as “Jacob”, from Hebrew, meaning “supplanter”, or possibly, “may God protect”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Giacomo, Hamish, Iago, Jae, Jacques, Jago, Jai, Jaime, Jaimie, Jamie, Jameson, Jamieson, Jamey, Jay, Jaymes, Jeames, Jem, Jemmy, Jim, Jimbo, Jimi, Jimmie, Jimmy, Jimsy, Seamus, Shamus, Sheamus, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
James, the manservant at 999 Marlborough Street, in “Ally”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
James, butler for the Joy family while in Newport, in A Little Country Girl (1885), by Susan Coolidge.
James, Mr. Woodhouse’s coachman in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
James, one of the Boston children roused to their chores at the start of Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
James Cooper, whose wife is one of those married friends from Bath that Augusta Elton cites as an example of how married women always give up their pursuit of music, in Emma.
James Alexander, the alias chosen by the con man who persecutes Georgie Gray and Berry Joy in A Little Country Girl.
– James Crawley (sometimes called “Jim“), one of the Rev. Bute Crawley’s sons in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
James Alexander Creighton (1849-1852), one of the three young Creighton boys who died of “paralysis” the year Jethro was born, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
James Marlowe (called “Jim“), the impetuous young man whose impulsive nature leads to a sorrowful mix-up, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s)
James McMull, the “young sprig of Scotch nobility” Miss Rhoda Swartz ends up marrying after Mr. Osborne fails to add her to his family, in Vanity Fair.

WRITERS:
– See this post for a long list of writers named James dating all the way back to the thirteenth century.

Thomas

August 2, 2014 § 7 Comments

ORIGIN:
Greek form of the Aramaic for “twin”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Maas, Tam, Tavish, Thom, Tom, Toma, Tomas, Tommaso, Tommie, Tommy, Twm, etc.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Thomas, the Dashwood’s manservant at Barton Cottage, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Thomas, a local boy Robin went to school with, in The Door in the Wall (written in 1949 and set sometime between 1327-1377), by Marguerite de Angeli.
Brother Thomas, one of the monks at St. Mark’s, in The Door in the Wall.
Thomas Burk (called “T.B.”), Dr. Archie’s secretary in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Thomas Cockram, the foreman of Reuben Huckabuck’s shop, who has designs on young Ruth, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Sir Thomas Coffin, “celebrated as a hanging judge”, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Thomas Ward Creighton (called “Tom“; b. 1843), Jethro’s older brother, who, at just 18 years of age, runs off to join the Union Army, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Thomas Dover, missionary neighbor of the Misses Carey, in “Little Button-Rose”, from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Thomas Faggus (called “Tom“), the roguishly charming highwayman whose relation to the Ridd family gives them both prestige and trouble, in Lorna Doone.
Thomas Hancock, Mr. Hancock’s uncle, who originally ordered the silver set Mr. Hancock asks Mr. Lapham to make a replacement piece for, in Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (written in 1943; set during the years leading up to the American Revolutionary War, 1773-1775).
Dr. Thomas Harrison (called “Doctor Tom“), who specializes in mending children’s hurt limbs, in “The Story of Little Syl”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Thomas Hooper, a schoolboy who is in John’s corner during his fight with Robin Snell, in Lorna Doone.
Sir Thomas Liverseege, Governor of Coventry Island before his death opens the position up for Rawdon Crawley to take advantage of, in Vanity Fair.
Thomas Palmer, husband of Mrs. Jennings’ daughter ebullient daughter Charlotte, in Sense and Sensibility.
Rev. Thomas Tuffin has a daughter at Miss Pinkerton’s Academy, in Vanity Fair.

WRITERS:
– Thomas Alexander Browne (1826-1915), English author who sometimes published under the pen name “Rolf Boldrewood”.
– Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian, philosopher, and satiricist.
– Thomas De Quincey (1785-1859), English essayist.
– Thomas Stearns (T.S.) Eliot (1888-1965), English critic, essayist, poet, and playwright.
– Thomas Gray (1716-1771), English poet and writer.
– Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), English novelist and poet.
– Thomas Hood (1799-1845), English humorist and poet.
– Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471), German clergyman and writer.
– Thomas Edward (T.E.) Lawrence (1888-1935), British army officer and writer.
– Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859), British historian
– Thomas Mann (1875-1955), German writer.
– Thomas Merton (1915-1968), American activist, monk, mystic, poet, and writer.
– Thomas Moore (1779-1852), Irish poet and songwriter.
– Thomas More (1478-1535), English author and statesman.
– Thomas Paine (1737-1809), British-American author and revolutionary.
– Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938), American novelist.

Robert

July 30, 2014 § 12 Comments

ORIGIN:
Anglo-Saxon, meaning “bright flame”.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Bob, Bobbie, Bobby, Rab, Raibeart, Rob, Robb, Robbie, Robby, Roberto, Robi, Robin, Rupert, Ruprecht, etc. I guess even Bobert, if you really wish it.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Robert (called “Bob“, b. 1920), the eleventh 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.
Robert, the pageboy at Jim and Ned’s place, in “The Tragedy of the Unexpected”, from Nora Perry’s The Tragedy of the Unexpected and Other Stories (published in 1880, but set in the 1870s)
Sir Robert, an uncle to Edward, Fanny, and Robert Ferrars, who was responsible for Mrs. Ferrar’s decision to send Edward to Mr. Pratt’s for a private education, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Lord Robert of Amhurste (called “Robin” by his twin sister, Margaret), a brave and generous young man, in “A Brother to Dragons” (written in 1886, set in 1586), from A Brother to Dragons, and Other Old Time Tales (1888), by Amélie Rives.
Sir Robert Bampfylde, the litigious gentleman whose lawsuits led to Tom Faggus’ ruin and subsequent adoption of the highwayman’s life, in Lorna Doone, by R.D. Blackmore (written in 1869, set in the 1670s-1680s).
Rev. Robert Brocklehurst, the formidable and hypocritical supervisor of Lowood Institute, in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
– Middle name of John Robert Creighton (b. 1837), Jethro’s oldest brother remaining at home, “more impatient, quicker to anger” than his beloved brother Bill, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Robert Ferrars, Edward’s favored younger brother, “silly and a great coxcomb”, in Sense and Sensibility.
Robert Furnival, old Lady Mary’s lawyer, who pesters her to write her will before it is too late, in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
Robert Leaven, the man Bessie Lee marries, who works as porter at Gateshead and lives in the lodge, in Jane Eyre.
Robert Martin, a sensible, respectable, intelligent young gentleman-farmer, who hopes to marry Harriet Smith, in Jane Austen’s Emma (1815).
Robert Racket (called “Robin“), a handsome and charming lad who steals the hearts of cousins Keren Lemon and Ruth Visor, in “The Farrier Lass o’ Piping Pebworth” (written in 1887, set circa 1600), from A Brother to Dragons, and Other Old Time Tales.
Robert Siddell, one of Uncle Gabe’s two favorite students at his Jewish vocational school, chosen as a blind date for teenaged Lily, in Sleeping Arrangements, by Laura Cunningham (published 1989, set in the 1950s).

WRITERS:
Go here for a list of probably close to a thousand writers named “Robert”, if you’d like to know what sort of illustrious literary company this name keeps.

Mary

July 28, 2014 § 18 Comments

ORIGIN:
The common Anglicized version of the Hebrew name “Miriam”, which may mean “rebellious” or “obstinate”. Or it may not. No one really knows. By now, “Mary” has more meaning due to connotation than to whatever the denotation may be.

VARIATIONS and NICKNAMES:
Maaike, Maia, Mair, Mairenn, Mairi, Mairin, Mairwen, Maja, Malia, Maille, Mame, Mamie, Manon, Mara, Mari, Maria, Mariah, Mariamne, Marian, Marianne, Marie, Mariele, Mariella, Marielle, Marietta, Marika, Mariona, Marise, Mariska, Marissa, Marita, Maritza, Marjo, Marjut, Marya, Maryam, Marzena, Maura, Maureen, Masha, Mele, Mere, Meri, Mia, Mieke, Miep, Mies, Mimi, Mirele, Miriam, Mitzi, Moira, Moireen, Moll, Molle, Molly, Myriam, Ona, Poll, Pollie, Polly, Ria, etc. So many variations. So, so many.

REFERENCES IN LITERATURE:
Mary, Carrie’s older sister, expected to marry soon, in “Pansies” from A Garland for Girls, by Louisa May Alcott, 1887.
Mary (b. 1906), the second 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.
Mary, wife of John, the manservant at Thornfield (and later, Ferndean), in Jane Eyre, 1847, by Charlotte Bronte.
Mary, the name of a succession of inept maidservants employed by the Hurstwoods, in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie (published in 1900; set 1889-1890s).
Lady Mary, the old woman whose laid-back approach to business nearly ruins her goddaughter, in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen by Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant.
Mary, the Hungarian housemaid at Thea’s boarding house in Chicago, in The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather (written in 1915 and set in the 1890s).
Mary, the housemaid at Grandpa Bennet’s, in “That Ridiculous Child”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories by Nora Perry (1889).
Mary Arkwright, the friend whose birthday party Dolly Lorton writes about in her diary, in “The Youngest Miss Lorton”, from The Youngest Miss Lorton, and Other Stories.
Aunt Mary Balcarres, whose house lies opposite the College Library, in “The Library Window” (1896), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen.
Mary Bennet, the serious and often-overlooked third Bennet daughter in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (written in 1797, published in 1813).
Mary Box, a girl local to Queen’s Crawley, with a reputation for fighting with her sister, in Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray (published in 1847-48, but set in the 1810s-20s).
Lady Mary Caerlyon, the unhappy wife of Lord Steyne in Vanity Fair.
Mary Clapp (nicknamed “Polly“), daughter of the Sedley’s landlord, who bestows on Dobbin the nickname “Major Sugarplums” owing to his habit of bringing gifts for all at every visit to the house,  in Vanity Fair.
Mary Ellen Creighton (b. 1844-46), Jethro’s older sister, “pretty as Jenny, only blond and more delicate”, who was killed in a carriage accident caused by a drunken Travis Burdow in 1859, in Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt (1964; set during the American Civil War, 1861-1865).
Mary Erroll, the beautiful and elegant neighbor who captures Jack Roden’s attention, and Virginia Herrick’s enmity, in Virginia of Virginia, written by Amélie Rives in 1888.
Mary Fleming, Ally’s cousin, whose actions don’t always reflect her intentions, in “Ally”, from Nora Perry’s A Flock of Girls and Boys (1895).
Mary Garrett, one of Jane’s students at the charity school in Morton, in Jane Eyre.
Mary Grant, Kitty’s sister in “Esther Bodn”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Mary Ingram, Blanche’s younger sister, one of the elegant people who make up Mr. Rochester’s social set, in Jane Eyre.
Mary Jordan, an impoverished woman who turns to Philip Canning for aid, in “The Portrait” (1885), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen.
– Mary King, the young heiress who attracts Wickham’s attentions away from Elizabeth, in Pride and Prejudice.
Mary Leslie, a little girl who needs to have a better example set for her by the older girls, in “A Little Boarding-School Samaritan”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Lady Mary Mango (daughter of the Earl of Castlemouldy), to whom Amelia is favorably compared in Vanity Fair.
Mary Marcy, a shrewd, spirited girl whose Quaker mother isn’t enough to keep her from wanting to fight back against injustice, in “An April Fool”, from A Flock of Girls and Boys.
Mary McGuire, one of Sidney’s patients at the hospital, in K. by Mary Roberts Rinehart (1914).
Mary, Lady Middleton, Mrs. Jennings’ daughter and Sir John’s wife, an elegant, though dull, woman who has little to offer besides devotion to her children and to the politesse of hostessing, in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (set between 1792-1797, published in 1811).
Mary Peters, wife of local farmer Amos Peters, in The Harvester (1911) by Gene Stratton Porter.
Mary Porter (called “Molly“), a shopgirl Anna Winslow helps in “May Flowers”, from A Garland for Girls.
Mary Rivers (later Wharton), one of St. John’s sisters, who befriend Jane after she leaves Thornfield, in Jane Eyre.
Miss Mary Scott, the pleasant old lady who hopes to see a rare flower bloom in “Water Lilies” from A Garland for Girls.
Mary Sedley is Amelia Sedley’s mother (although later her husband refers to her as “Bessy“) in Vanity Fair.
Mary Turner, Ed’s wife and Sam’s mother, in Across Five Aprils.
Mary Vivian, Lady Mary’s goddaughter, who is nearly left destitute through simple procrastination, in “Old Lady Mary” (1884), from Stories of the Seen and Unseen.

WRITERS:
Mary Cowden Clark (1809-1898), English author and scholar.
– Mary Higgins Clark (b. 1927), American novelist.
Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823-1886), American diarist and socialite.
– Mary Stewart Doubleday Cutting (1851-1924), American activist and author.
– Mary McCarthy (1912-1989), American activist, author, and critic.
– Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958), American mystery novelist.
– Mary Shelley (1797-1851), English writer.
– Mary Somerville (1780-1872), Scottish science writer and polymath.
– Mary Stewart (1916-2014), English author.
– Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797), English activist, philosopher, and writer.

QUOTATIONS:
– Classic nursery rhymes such as “Mary, Mary, quite contrary” and “Mary had a little lamb“. Probably the most popular girl’s name for nursery rhymes, really. When it comes to rhyming, Mary is very ordinary.
– “Bring Flowers of the Rarest” is a hymn to the Virgin Mary, written by Mary E. Walsh in 1871: “Oh! Thus shall we prove thee / How truly we love thee, / How dark without Mary / Life’s journey would be. / O Mary! we crown thee with blossoms today, / Queen of the Angels, Queen of the May!”

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