Returning to the tale of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, it occurred to me to wonder where Childermass (probably my favourite character) got his name from. Wikipedia informed me that "Childermass" is the name of the feast day of the Holy Innocents - today! - but the connection, if any, with the character is unclear to me. There are also other characters and titles in literature named Childermass, who could equally have inspired the name of John Childermass.

Is there any connection between John Childermass and today's feast day of Childermass? Or, is there any evidence for what inspired the name of the character Childermass?

  • 1
    I have not read the book, but to me it sounds like a "foundling name". Abandoned children needed a name, and one found on a festival day might be named for that.
    – mikado
    Dec 29, 2018 at 7:53


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