Jane Austen is my favorite author. Her creative genius and truthfulness to her generation extends to the names she chose to use in her writings. Each name, whether first name or surname, fits the character they were used on perfectly. Their names really become part of their character and personality, all molding together to tell their stories!
Ladylike & Gentlemanly First Names - In the Regency era there were only a handful of names that were acceptable among the upper to middle classes that Jane Austen wrote about. But she chose names carefully that suited her characters and most times the meanings of their names suited them as well.
Surnames - There are a variety of surnames that Jane Austen uses in her novels, most of them were old family names or variants on surnames of friends and family.
Place Names - The names of country houses, villages and towns used in her works are very interesting and again come from her real life and the world she moved in.
Quotes About Names In Jane Austen's Novels:
“My sister and Mr. Bertram. I am so glad your eldest cousin is gone, that he may be Mr. Bertram again. There is something in the sound of Mr. Edmund Bertram so formal, so pitiful, so younger–brother–like, that I detest it.”
“How differently we feel!” cried Fanny. “To me, the sound of Mr. Bertram is so cold and nothing–meaning, so entirely without warmth or character! It just stands for a gentleman, and that’s all. But there is nobleness in the name of Edmund. It is a name of heroism and renown; of kings, princes, and knights; and seems to breathe the spirit of chivalry and warm affections.”
“I grant you the name is good in itself, and Lord Edmund or Sir Edmund sound delightfully; but sink it under the chill, the annihilation of a Mr., and Mr. Edmund is no more than Mr. John or Mr. Thomas." - Mary Crawford & Fanny Price, Mansfield Park, Chapter 22
"Her father was a clergyman, without being neglected, or poor, and a very respectable man, though his name was Richard — and he had never been handsome." - about heroine Catherine Morland's father, Northanger Abbey, Chapter 1
"Sally, or rather Sarah (for what young lady of common gentility will reach the age of sixteen without altering her name as far as she can?), must from situation be at this time the intimate friend and confidante of her sister." - about Catherine's sister Sarah Morland, Northanger Abbey, Chapter 2
"Now, it so happened that in spite of Emma's resolution of never marrying, there was something in the name, in the idea of Mr. Frank Churchill, which always interested her." - Emma, Chapter 14
"'Mr. Knightley.' You always called me, 'Mr. Knightley;' and, from habit, it has not so very formal a sound. And yet it is formal. I want you to call me something else, but I do not know what."
"I remember once calling you 'George,' in one of my amiable fits, about ten years ago. I did it because I thought it would offend you; but, as you made no objection, I never did it again."
"And cannot you call me 'George' now?"
"Impossible! I never can call you any thing but 'Mr. Knightley.' I will not promise even to equal the elegant terseness of Mrs. Elton, by calling you Mr. K. But I will promise," she added presently, laughing and blushing, 'I will promise to call you once by your Christian name. I do not say when, but perhaps you may guess where; -- in the building in which N. takes M. for better, for worse.'" - Mr. Knightley & Emma Woodhouse, Emma, Chapter 53