As an author, names are very interesting to me. As a reader of medieval romance, I find myself rolling my eyes at some of the names which are obviously modern given medieval knights and ladies. I would like to see some more realistic names given to romance heroes and heroines. On the other hand, to have half the male characters named William, John, Henry or Richard would be mighty confusing. It is fact that boys’ given names were not very imaginative in Medieval England. The ten most common names account for 57.8% of all male names listed in the Rolls of Henry III. (found at www.finerollshenry3.org.uk) That means that well over half the men shared 10 names. Only 3.4% of the men listed had a name that showed up only once. So, imaginative names were pretty rare for men. For women, 9.94% had names that showed up only once. A little more diverse, but still, the majority of parents were content to name their children for saints, kings and queens. Can you imagine a passionate relationship between a William and a Matilda?
Well, get this: Willam the Conqueror, who was previously known as William the Bastard because his parents weren’t married, proposed marriage (not in person, but by messenger)to a daughter of the Count of Flanders by the name of Matilda. Matilda laughed at his envoy, saying a pure blooded princess born in holy matrimony wouldn’t lower herself to wed a base-born bastard. Her father the Count agreed that a more profitable and seemly alliance could be made elsewhere. William was so furious that he rode all night, caught Matilda on her way to church, dragged her off her horse by her hair and left her in the street while her guards and servants were too shocked to protect her. True story? Maybe. They were married a few months later.
So what were the most commen names in the first half of the 13th century in England? (yes, I know this is more than 13, but which names shoule I leave out?)
Top Ten Medieval Male Names
Top Ten Medieval Female Names
Yes, as of 5:11pm CST on Thursday, September 22, 2011 I will have lived 50 years on this Planet Earth. I’d like to flatter myself and say I don’t look it. The picture above was taken on Tuesday at my birthday party. This is my niece with me. I don’t especially feel like I’m a half century old, at least not until I see the kids I taught in Sunday School bringing their own kids to Sunday School. That’s just plain weird. I tided Wednesday night and I’m taking Thursday off from work, so I have the whole day to do whatever I like.
Here are 13 things I’m doing tomorrow:
1. Sleeping late. Hear that, cats? No crying before 7am. No running around or jumping on me or anything else that will make me wake up early.
2. Drinking tea. A friend came down from Winnipeg and she brought me two delicious organic teas from Nepal.
3. Eating maple biscuits. Another friend came down from Winnipeg and brought me some yummy tea biscuits. (cookies we call them here in the States, but biscuits sounds a little more posh)
4. Listening to a CD. A gal in my critique group put together a cd of her reading some of her poetry and playing some of her music and gave it to me. It will be very nice to listen to while I sip my tea and nibble my biscuits and…
5. Casting on a new pair of socks. My friend Jess Pease (who is rabidly allergic to wool) went into a yarn store and bought me a gorgeous sock yarn in varying shades of purple and blue. I am going to make me another pair of warm handknit socks!
6. Have a 90 minute full body massage. I made an appointment with Knead a Break massage therapy. I’m pretty sure it is going to be sheer heaven.
7. Have lunch with a friend. I don’t know where we’re going. She says she’s going to surprise me. Should be fun!
8. Go to Barnes & Noble. I may not buy any thing, but I will peruse the romance, sci-fi, fantasy and craft stacks with leisurely diligence.
9. Drink coffee. This is part of the whole B&N experience. I take a few books and magazines to the cafe to browse through them to help me decide which I should buy.
10. Go to mom’s house. My sister and two of my brothers will be there for supper. My 8-year-old niece has already told me that SHE is making the cake.
11. Open the ginger-lemon mead brewed by Nick LePage of Liverpool. He generously gifted me with a bottle of it when we met at Gimli Manitoba.
12. Take a bath. A nice relaxing bath, with bubbles, candles, a book and a glass of mead.
13. Go to bed. Early. Sleep like a baby. No, not like a baby. They wake up and cry too much. Like a log. Yeah, like a log.
My birthday is right around the corner. Some of my good friends at work surprised me yesterday with FIFTY roses to mark my fiftieth birthday. That vase is so heavy it made the shelf above my desk sink a little. Fifty roses have a good bit of weight to them! Can you imagine my surprise at seeing this huge vase full of roses? I still get teary-eyed when I lean over to enjoy them.
I’ll have a complete post about my birthday party on Thursday.
Thank you to everyone who joined in on the Hard at Work Blog Hop! The winner of a download of my backlist is Christine Hirth and the winner of the paperback copy of Sleeping With the Wolf is Cheryl Lynne.
Congrats to the winners!
I will have some news to share about Tracking Tami in the next few days, and the first chapter will be sent out in the Newsletter next weekend.
Welcome to Maddy Barone’s stop on the Labor Day Blog Hop. If you fall off the bus, you can get back on here.
I’m pretty sure everyone else has treated you to some delicious eyecandy in the form of men hard at work. You might not be doing any physical work but if you’re like me you’re feeling a bit sweaty by this point! Grab a cold drink and enjoy! My eyecandy is a trio of guys that look sorta like three heroes in upcoming books in my post-apocalyptic series, After the Crash.
The first is the hero of Tracking Tami. Tracker is a loner in the post-apocalyptic world I’ve created, famous for his tracking skill. When a woman runs away from her husbands they hire the Tracker to find her and bring her back. Half Lakota and half Norwegian, Tracker is one of the men of his Clan that doesn’t have a wolf. He is tall and slender, with white blond hair in two braids past his waist and a cool expressionless face that shows no emotion. But behind his stone cold face is a man who yearns for a wife of his own to love and cherish. When he catches up with Tami and finds out that her husbands abused her, he knows he can’t take her back. Like most of his kin he reveres women, and Tami captures his heart. Instead he brings her to his cousin’s werewolf pack for safekeeping, where he hopes her fear will lessen enough for him to be able to court her. This fellow’s hair isn’t hip length, like Tracker’s is, but it’s the right color and texture and the face is right.
The second is Blue Sky at Midday, the hero of Wolf’s Princess. When Sky was just barely seventeen, his wolf chose sixteen year old Rose Turner to be his mate. He courted her with all the fierce ardor of a teenaged Alpha werewolf. His cousin Taye and Taye’s mate Carla insisted he give Rose time to get settled in her new life. When his clumsy wooing failed to charm his reluctant new mate, Sky left the den to take a job in distant Omaha. After several years with no word from Sky, Rose decides she won’t wait for him. She wants a husband and children, so she goes husband shopping. But Sky hasn’t forgotten her and when he learns his neglected mate wants a husband he returns and carries her back to Omaha with him in triumph. But Sky isn’t the innocent naive teenager he was when he first came to Omaha, and Rose isn’t the unsettled and grieving plane crash survivor he left behind. Their story begins in Wolf’s Glory. This fellow’s hair is about right, but Sky has startlingly blue eyes and a dimple beside his mouth.
The third is the hero of Eddie’s Prize. Eddie Madison is, in the words of the heroine, a golden god. With his model-handsome face and physique, and as the son of the mayor and probable heir to his powerful position, Eddie is widely considered the biggest marital catch in the area. The few females in his town fall all over themselves to catch his attention. But his attention is focussed only on the new wife he won in a Bride Fight. Lisa is already half in love with him and his gentle eagerness to please her on their wedding night makes her believe they will have a happy marriage. But that changes when Eddie learns of her promiscuous past. His naive love turns to bitter rage. Lisa tries to convince him that her previous life is behind her now and she loves only him. Eddie draws away from his bride emotionally while struggling to believe her, but he can’t hide the accusation in his eyes or the mistrust he feels. Lisa puts up with his attitude for only so long.
For the blog hop, the prize I’m offering is a free download of either the first book in the series, Sleeping With the Wolf, or the second book, Wolf’s Glory. But I’m also offering a prize to one person who leaves a comment on this blog post. One commenter will win a paperback copy of Sleeping With the Wolf. Remember that anyone who has signed up for my newsletter will automatically be entered twice in the paperback giveaway. Good luck!