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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Thursday, March 31, 2011

James, George, Edward, Henry, William and Charles & John: the history of England's Kings

I think you see where I am going with this. Correct me if I am wrong, but the 6
Austen brothers collectively, either as Christian or middle names, were apparently
named for all the English kings during the 750 years following the Norman Conquest
_other than_ Stephen and the three Richards.

Perhaps that is part of the reason for JA's famous but mysterious stated aversion to
the name Richard, I.e., she was having a little fun with her parents's apparent
obsession with naming their sons after English kings, but avoiding the most
notorious regal name, thanks to Richard III.

When I posted the above in Janeites, I received the following very interesting response from Derrick Leigh:

"Stephen and the three Richards did not produce children who inherited the
throne. In that respect all the others were more fortunate names."

It seems to me not impossible that the literarily-inclined parents of Jane Austen might have actually taken those very factors into account.


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