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What’s in a Name?

Folly at Sausmarez Manor: Aladdin


There are many fun things about writing historicals. Searching out bits of interesting facts in history to weave into stories, notorious people, and name choice are a few. Patricia Veryan, Jane Austen, and Georgette Heyer were exceptional with using pivotal points in history in a fun, exciting way. I often wonder what their process was for choosing their character names.

One of the “must have’s” with my own writing is finding the perfect name to accurately represent my characters, settings, objects, and, yes…horses. I’m in a constant search to find the perfect name to match each horse in my books. Matching a name to their personality or role in my stories is almost as important to me as my main characters. I want them to be unique and match the period in history I’m writing. In my book, FOLLY AT SAUSMAREZ MANOR, I needed to find the name of my hero’s horse. I did what many authors do. Googled it. I found many popular names for horses during the regency period, but I was in search of that one name that spoke to me. Aladdin. I liked it. Next, I googled “Aladdin” to see what pops. The result? That moment that excites me each time it happens. A perfect match.


Like most, I’m familiar with the story of Aladdin from the popular Disney productions and children’s books. What I didn’t know, it turns out Aladdin was a story included in Antoine Galland’s One Thousand and One Nights which he called Les Mille et une Nuits. More exciting for my historical brain is that this version of the tales was written between 1704 and 1717. An exact fit for the time-period my story is set which is 1801.

It gets better. Antoine Galland was a French Orientalist and Archaeologist. Perfect! Another reason why my Marquess of Daventry, Marshall Compton, Archaeologist Extraordinaire, would know Monsieur Galland’s works and find the name Aladdin a perfect choice for his Arabian stallion. And this Arabian stallion will play the role of Aladdin’s magic carpet flying them away.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I love to pepper historical truths into my fiction. I believe it’s a great way to make learning about history fun and enjoyable. How about you? What do you enjoy about history?

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Featured Image Credit: WV Horse Council, Arabian horse, www.wvhorsecouncil.org/2016/02/arabian-horses-arabian-horses-history/

“Surprising Facts About Aladdin and The Arabian Night.” 30 Jan. 2013. interestingliterature.com/2013/01/30/surprising-facts-about-aladdin/

Wikipedia. “Translation of One Thousand and One Nights.” 1 Dec 2017. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translations_of_One_Thousand_and_One_Nights

Wikipedia. “Antoine Galland.” 19 Oct 2017. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Galland

Chambers, IreAnne. Folly at Sausmarez Manor. United States: Purple Storm Publishing, 2018


  1. Shari Heinrich says:

    That horse’s name is a perfect fit, indeed! I enjoy those tidbits of history in books I read, and the ones I discover during research and can fit into mine, even though I’m not writing historicals.

  2. IreAnne says:

    I know! I get such a charge like it’s meant to be 🙂

  3. Venette Schafer says:

    I absolutely love it when I learn something historical in a book that’s one of the biggest reasons I read Historical Romance.
    Names are very important and like you said need to fit the time period. Some authors don’t seem to care about historical accuracy anymore.

  4. IreAnne says:

    Yes, I also find it difficult to stay in the story if a name keeps jumping off the page 😊

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