Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Romeo Capulet to Juliet Montague.

Truly though?  What does your name say about you?

My current surname is Evans, and there are millions of us, (the tenth most popular name in England) not rating as high as Smith (most prevalent) or Jones (most frequently in use.)

All my English family names are craft or workmanlike names 

Cooper - Barrel maker
Smith - Blacksmith
Turner - Woodturner - sometimes thought to be from the Norman invasion

My first husband's surname Buxton - was a little more elevated, the surname of a Baronet and a beer maker (Truman Hanbury and Buxton) 

My Irish Family are descended from King Kevan apparently according to my much loved but deceased aunt.

But the name Clifford came from the de Clifford family, so that part of the family were either vassals or Knights of the de Clifford clan living in Northern Ireland

Burke another Irish name is also an aristocratic origin from Normandy.

What does it all mean?  Is it important?

Well yes, if your name is Darren or Kaley or Chardonnay, your work life choices are limited.
If your name is Tobias, Matthew, Ashley, Millie or Rosie you are going to be middle class, probably go to uni and get a reasonable job.

If your name is Cressida, Leandra or Phaedra, Jack or James or Jasper, whatever you do in life you will be successful because your parents and their friends will make it so.

I am a Margaret - it used to be the most popular name in England at the time I was born.
I wasn't named after Princess Margaret, but all the eldest girls in our family were traditionally called Margaret, my mother was a Margaret, her sister baptised, while my grandmother was still recovering from the birth was also a Margaret (a mistake) so her middle name became her first when Granny found out what had happened!

Margaret Cooper Evans - added my maiden name as there are so many writers called Margaret Evans!   

If you haven't got the right name, even these days of so called equality, you won't fit.
It doesn't matter how educated you are or how high your IQ is, as I found out in the BBC if you have the "right" name you are fast-tracked.  I worked with Lady Jane Wellesley at the BBC and she didn't use her title or her name because she wanted to earn her promotions, we worked together, and were both getting no-where fast. When she decided to use her name, she was promoted and promoted in a year, and me - well it took a lot longer.
I always admired her for trying.

So why this why now?  Well my book The Women of the English Civil War, is being "re-imagined" by two upper class ladies with names that don't include Evans Cooper Turner.
Whose first names are classical mythical beauties. Who on the back of my 20 years of research are making money from my work. Whose parents are wealthy.

I'm JAM just about managing.  When I complain I am told I am in the wrong, they didn't use my research word for word (they did) or copy my book format (they did).  It's all my imagination.

To use Agatha Christie's famous Murder Mystery title "Why didn't they ask Evans?"

Because with a name like mine you are deemed unimportant.


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