Thursday, 29 September 2016

Jane Austen: The Naming of Characters

Two hundred and forty-one characters in Jane Austen’s novels share a total of eighty-one Christian names. She tended to give Latinate names to pretentious and shallow women.

In Persuasion, Jane Austen gives two characters the same first name – Charles. It is usual to avoid doing so, in case confusion or awkwardness arises. In Chapter 22, for example, there is a shortish paragraph in which 'Charles' appears five times, representing:- Musgrove 2 : Hayter 3. If Jane had lived long enough, perhaps she would have tidied things up.