Saturday, 27 February 2010

Maiden names

Women born with these names were later known by their husbands' surnames. Who were they?

(Those marked * became much more famous than their husbands.)

1 Sklodowska (1867-1934)
2 Betts* (1919-2002)
3 Roberts (1925-)
4 Mackamotsi (1873-1910)
5 Hozier (1885-1977)
6 Doud (1896-1979)
7 Mayson* (1836-1865)
8 Stevenson* (1810-1865)
9 Winklmayr (1949-)
10 Goulden* (1858-1928)
11 Heath* (1964-)
12 Heelis* (1866-1943)
13 Miller* (1890-1976)
14 Le Breton* (1853-1929)
15 Stephen (1882-1941)
16 Nehru* (1917-1984)
17 Mabovich* (1898-1978)
18 Earnshaw* (1879-1964)
19 Bamber* (1899-1970)
20 Hughes (1932-1963)

This is a difficult and fairly pointless exercise, since most of their fathers were obscure and uninteresting, and few would recognise their names. Their daughters' married names are mostly very familiar, but hardly anyone would be able to match more than two or three of them with their maiden names.

Here is a list in random order of each of these women's claim to fame: crime writer, head of state, children's author/illustrator, politician, FLOTUS, poet, another politician, wife of statesman, mistress of a royal, another head of state, political leader, physicist, writer on household management, novelist, political activist, yet another politician, first wife of magnate, another children's author/illustrator, murder victim, feminist novelist/essayist.

This won't help you much.

3 comments:

Froog said...

Well, the Indian one was fairly easy. The Polish one I was prepared to guess at. And the Channel Island one chimed in the memory from somewhere. But I missed the Iron Maiden first time around.

A particularly cruel and unusual diversion, Mr B!

PS Didn't you get the last one the wrong way around? Or was there an aside about that which I missed?

Tony said...

I thought that one might bring you out of the woodwork; glad you liked it.

You are quite right about the last one; I was tired and emotional by the time I reached it.

eric said...

I got the Iron one and the Indian one, but that's it. It's a pity No. 9's maiden name wasn't "Tinklemeyer", as that would have made for a decent Bart Simpson-like joke.