Literary Names: The Bronte Sisters
We’ve talked a lot about Shakespearean literary names and characters in Dickens and Jane Austen, but we’ve overlooked three of the best namers in literary history—the sisters Brontë. We love their own names—Charlotte, Emily and Anne, and we love their initial-appropriate male pen names—Currer, Ellis and Acton. We even love their surname, which a number of parents have chosen for their daughters.
But it is the particularly rich cast of character names in their novels that we love the most. One of them, in fact, had a considerable effect on baby naming of its era. Though it’s long been said that it was Shirley Temple who promoted her given name in the 1930s, she wasn’t the first. In Charlotte Brontë’ second novel, following Jane Eyre, the protagonist of Shirley was given that name because her father had anticipated a boy, and Shirley was a distinctively male name at the time. The novel’s Father Keeldar made a gender switch that has proven to be permanent.
Eulalie, CB– The Professor
Sylvie, CB—The Professor
Zoraïde, CB—The Professor
Hareton, EB—Wuthering Heights
Hindley, EB—Wuthering Heights
Hunsden, CB—The Professor
Jules, CB—The Professor
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
on July 14th, 2011 at 2:07 am
Thank you! I’d forgotten so many of these–I love Ginevra and Eulalie, among many others.
One thing, though–I’m pretty sure it’s Charlotte, not Anne, who’s the author of Villette.
on July 14th, 2011 at 3:57 am
Charlotte Brontë wrote Villette, not Anne. 🙂
on July 14th, 2011 at 8:04 am
Agnes, Frances, Helen & Sylvie are divine! And from the boys, Arthur, Edgar, Jules & Kenneth are favorites. I could easily have 8 kids and name them these! Beautiful!
on July 14th, 2011 at 11:46 am
Zoraïde is really intriguing!
on July 14th, 2011 at 1:05 pm
i actually love the name bronte.
on July 14th, 2011 at 3:49 pm
Heathcliff is one of my favorite middle name possibilities for boys! Many think it’s harsh but I love it. Eulalie, too, is high on my list. One of the reasons I love Adele is because of my long obsession with Jane Eyre.
Leslie Owen Said
on July 14th, 2011 at 10:08 pm
One note: Their surname is pronunced Brunty, not Brontay. Don’t forget Patrick Bramwell, their brother — it was his childhood game that helped the girls get started on their writing careers, even as Bramwell’s fizzled out.
Leslie Owen Said
on July 14th, 2011 at 10:09 pm
pronounced, my bad….
What We’re Reading This Week | giggle GAB Said
on July 15th, 2011 at 8:01 am
[…] you a fan of the Bronte sisters? Consider these character names from their books. – […]
on July 15th, 2011 at 9:00 am
Can you even imagine meeting a little boy name Shirley these days? I wonder if people will think the same about a boy Peyton 50 years from now.
on July 18th, 2011 at 10:31 am
Bronte sister’s novels aren’t the easiest of reads. I’ve had the pleasure of reading two books written by Bronte – Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights – I loved the latter, Wuthering Heights was simply amazing book full of sheer love, excitment and mad passion; also the names were awesome. Where as Jane Eyre was particulary my favourite book. But I have to say the names found in these books are gorgeous. My favourites from your list are as follows…
Adèle really french and obviously pretty
Alice, I still like despite a girl with this name potentially stealing hundreds of pounds from me. So must be good
Annabella, I’ve had a crush on this name for ages, so pretty has this great Italian aura really gorgeous.
Caroline, just unbelieveably retro and sounds really American
Catherine, Cathy, the herione of my favourite book so beautiful
Eliza, it’s off beat it’s charming it’s beautiful you have to love it
Ellen I used to not like this name finding it bland but the simplicity is something I crave and it reeks of it.
Grace a very simple virtue name that looks really pretty
Isabella, a great Italian name ultra feminine very pretty with a great history and a gorgeous royal feel a lovely name
Matilda, Once again how can you not like this pretty humble classic
Rosalie, very pretty I just love the whole aura of the name
Rosamond, the traditional beat of this name makes it undenibley cute.
Rose, at last my favourite name of all time so obviously my favourite from this list. The simple Rose is just beautiful summing up beauty and simplicity in a great feminine way.
Arthur, this name is just cute how can you not like Arthur?!
Edward, a gorgeous classic that looks really masculine with a great nickname Eddie it’s very humble and handsome
Frederick, you’ve got to love Frederick especially Freddie it’s so cute, I love this classic and it’s becoming a favourite
Heathcliff, even though in hindsight one shouldn’t like Heathclif how can you not adore this name and all the connatations of it.
Kenneth, aw Kenneth I feel will become popular it’s so vintage and has the nickname Kenny and that is something the British love… a potential nickname!
Walter, I like this it’s been a guilty pleasure of mine for ages it’s really humble lovely and hardly ever comes to ones attention it’s a lovely classic.
on September 17th, 2013 at 9:24 pm
So, I know this is a really old post, but I’m just now reading it. . . Villette was written by Charlotte Bronte, not Anne; it says AB by the names from Villette.
on September 17th, 2013 at 9:28 pm
Someone else already pointed out the mistake that I addressed in my comment, and I do see that some of the VIllette names were corrected to have CB, but some of them still have the A.
Bronte Sisters Brothers Name | Kreativenews | Post Said
on January 2nd, 2017 at 8:56 am
[…] Literary Names: The Bronte Sisters […]
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.