Meaning: "Shining Light"
Common Nicknames: Ella, Ellen, Ellie, Nell, Nelly, Nellie, Nora
Regency Popularity: Its use was fairly steady in the 17th and 18th centuries. First introduced into England by Eleanor of Aquitaine (12th century) who was heiress to a large portion of France, wife of two kings and mother of two more (Richard the Lionhearted and John). Her powerful personality, intelligence, and inexhaustible energy made her unique in her time.
Jane Austen Usage:
- Northanger Abbey - Eleanor Tilney is the sister of hero Henry Tilney and daughter of General Tilney. She is a truly elegant young woman and presented as an idealised friend for heroine Catherine Morland, in strong contrast to the vain and selfish Isabella Thorpe. Eleanor's own marriage to a Vicount directly effects the subsequent marriage of her brother and his heroine.
- Juvenilia: Frederic and Elfrida - Miss. Eleanor Roger