Meaning: "Shining Light"
Common Nicknames: Ella, Ellen, Ellie, Nell, Nelly, Nellie
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:
- Sense and Sensibility - Elinor Dashwood, age nineteen, is joint heroine with her sister Marianne. The story centers around their lives after their father dies and their older half-brother inherits the family fortune. She falls in love with Edward Ferrars.