...in which I share some of my favorite medieval research resources and methods for the benefit of others interested in also writing about the Middle Ages

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More Medieval Names: Common vs Uncommon

Here they are, as promised. A sampling of common vs uncommon female names from my retyped medieval name list. (Again, all these are taken from The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, by E.G. Withycombe.)


Amabel, Amble, Mabel (12-13 C)
Amice, Amicia (12-15 C)
Basilia, Basilie, Basilla (12-13 C)
Dowsabel, Dowse, Duce, Douse
Edith, Eadgyth, Editha, Eda, Edan
Ella, Ela, Ala, Elia, Hele (common 'til mid-14 C)
Emma, Emme, Emmote, Emmete (11 C)
Gillian, Gill, Jill, Gillot, Gillet


Ann, Anne, Nan, Nanny
Arabella, Orabell
Christine, Christina
Elfleda, Aelfled, Alfled(a), Alflet, Elflet
Elfreda, Elfrid
Violette (S French, rare in England)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Medieval Names: Common vs Uncommon

I recently made an unhappy discovery on my old desktop computer: the file that contains my carefully compiled list of medieval names has become "corrupted!" Fortunately for me, I have a physical printout of the names. Unfortunately, this means laboriously typing the lists into my MacBook so I have a backup copy. (Yes, I could simply scan them in, but I want the flexibility of being able to add new names as I find them.)

My bad luck is your good fortune, since I'm feeling in a sharing kind of mood. Here is a list of "common" vs "uncommon" names in medieval England. These particular names were extracted from The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names, by E.G. Withycombe. (Oh, these are all male names. I haven't retyped my list of female names yet.)

Common names:

Acelin, Acelet (common 13 C)
Ancel, Ancelin, Ancelot

Berengar, Bereniger, Benger (12-13 C)

Bernard, Barnard, Barnet (12 C)
Bevis, Beves, Bovo, Bobo (12-13 C)

Brice, Bryce, Bricot (13-14 C)
David (12 C)
Edmund, Edmond
Fulk, Fauke, Fowke, Fawke, Fulcher

Geoffrey, Geffrey, Geoffroi, Geffrei, Geffrai, Jaufre (12-15 C)

Gerard, Gairhard, Gyrerd, Garrett, Garrat, Garit, Girard

Gilbert, Gylbart, Gylbard, Gilbred
Gregory, Gregour
Robert (Rob, Hob, Dob, Nob), Robin, Robard, Robyn
Walter, Wauter, Gualter, Gwalter
William, Guillielm, Guillaume, Willelm, Wylymot, Gillet, Gillot, Gilliame, Guillot, Gilmyn

Uncommon or rare names:

Adrian (12 C on, rare)
Amyas, Amiot (12-13 C, rare)
Charles, Carle, Charlet (Norman, rare)

Dominic, Dominick (13 C, uncommon in England)

Edgar, Etgar (Old English, rare after Norman Conquest)
Edwin, Eaduin (Old English, rare after 13 C)

Egbert (Old English, rare after Norman Conquest)

Emery, Emeric, Emerick (intro by Normans, never common)

Gabriel, Gabrell, Gabryell (uncommon)
Joseph (infrequent)
Samuel (rare)

Tancred (uncommon in England)
Victor (1200s, but rare)

Vivian, Phythian, Fithian (12 C, uncommon)

Warren, Warin, Guarin (rare after 14 C)
Wilfred, Wilfrid (rare after Norman Conquest)

Enjoy! When I retype the women's names, I'll share some with you, too.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cover Reveal: A Candlelight Courting

I just received the cover art for my short medieval Christmas story, A Candlelight Courting, from the always amazing Jaimey Grant at An Author's Art! I think it's beautiful. I hope you do, too!

When Burthred comes courting on Christmas Eve, Meg rejects his advances. She has her heart set on becoming a nun and insists that he call her Christina, the spiritual name she has chosen for herself. She tries to make him swear on her box of holy relics that he will not pursue her, but he carefully words his oath to allow him to stay in her candlelit chamber and try to change her mind.

What Meg does not confess is that her reliquary box holds a secret.

Burthred needs a wife, and no one will satisfy him except Meg. He swore on his father’s deathbed that he would marry her. But Burthred has a secret, too. When they come together before the Yule fire, their shared revelations will either join their hearts together or tear them apart.

A Candlelight Courting: A Short Christmas Romance
Coming October 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Illuminated manuscripts and medieval bookmarks!

As many of you know, my sweet medieval romance, Illuminations of the Heart, explores the world of medieval illumination. So imagine my excitement when I stumbled across this little interview on C-Span's Book TV! Eric Duncan, associate curator for rare books at the Ohio State University Library, shares with viewers a beautiful illuminated Bible (you'll see why these books were called "illuminated" when you see all that gold leaf!) and an original medieval bookmark that helped the reader keep track of more than just what page they were on. Watch and enjoy! It's only about 13 minutes long.