Saturday, December 4, 2010

What About Jasper?

Jasper Tudor

I like Jasper Tudor.  He was the uncle of the Henry VII, son of Catherine Valois and Owen Tudor, an able warrior and brilliant strategist.  His political prow less and military experience helped his nephew become king, end the War of the Roses and start the Tudor dynasty.  These are ample reasons to respect him, but I'm not fond of him for these reasons.  It may sound absurd, even irrational, but I like his name!

Not that Jasper is a particular good name, but the fact that it isn't common in history makes it sound more agreeable to my ears.  History is full of Henries, Georges, Elizabeths and Catherines, which makes keeping track of who's who even more daunting.  Henry VIII married three Catherines and two Annes.  George is the name of several English kings, a President and someone else I can't think of right now.  As for the name Henry, don't get me started.  Countless English, French, German and Holy Roman Emperors were named Henry. 

One of the many Henries throughout history.

Getting confused with all the Henries, Georges, Catherines and Elizabeths in history is hard enough for historians, but for lay people it's even more confusing.  Was it Henry VI or V that won the Battle of Agincourt, or who was the first King George that could speak English?  When I taught a history class years back at a local community college, I often had to pause briefly to make sure I was attaching the right number to the king's name.  If I had problems at times, no wonder my students couldn't keep track of who was who.

So I ask all mothers and fathers out there, who plan on placing their children in the history books:  Please, please, please, give your child a unique name like Jasper.  It would make the world much easier and history less confusing if you did.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you, too many Henries and Annes and Elizabeths and Georges. Also Maries, Maria Annas, Maria Isabellas, Maria EVERYTHING.


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