People are curious how writers come up with character names. I think I may have found where Jane Austen got many of her family names.
Wentworth, a village in Sheffield England, is pretty darn cute. (Wouldn’t THAT make the Captain howl?) From the site: “The Wentworth/Fitzwilliam Family Tree provides detailed information about the Wentworth, Watson and Fitzwilliam families who dominated Wentworth Village for generations from the stately home of Wentworth Woodhouse. It brings together hundreds of individuals dating back to the reign of Henry II.” See? Fitzwilliams, Wentworths, Watsons, and lots of Willliams and Thomases too.
There are family trees to look through. While you can dream about how “Lady Anne Wentworth” came about, you’ll have to do it without there being a single (or married) “Frederick” in the family.
There is even a great house named Wentworth Woodhouse. No mention of a “Knightley” or “Donwell.”
The site is well-kept and easily navigated with a clear index on the left. I particularly like the item “A Walk Around Wentworth.” It’s what you expect, a photo gallery of places in Wentworth village. I see a sort of Regency Farmer In The Dell, with Frederick being ringed by all the Persuasion characters singing “the cheese stands alone.” The Baronet singing loudest of course.
Bookmark it and if you find yourself without anything to do this weekend, visit Wentworth. In whatever way that seems best to you.
Take care–Susan Kaye