The Half Holiday, Alec home from school by Elizabeth Adela Stanhope Forbes
Origin: English / Spanish / Germanic
Meaning: “A man, barberry tree, fortified hill.”
Nicknames: Ar, Arl, Lo
Detail: There are several origins of the name:
An Italian variant of the German Charles meaning “man”
The Spanish word for the “barberry tree”
An Old English variant of Harlow, derived from the Anglo-Saxon words here and hlaw meaning “army hill”
Detail: Francesca (and Paolo) were historical contemporaries of Dante Alighieri.
Francesca was blatantly tricked into marrying Gianciotto, who was disfigured and uncouth, when the handsome and elegant Paolo (Gianciotto’s brother) was sent in his brother’s place to settle the nuptial contract. Angered at finding herself wed the following day to Gianciotto, Francesca made no attempt to restrain her affections for Paolo and the two in fact soon became lovers. Informed of this liaison, Gianciotto one day caught them together in Francesca’s bedroom (unaware that Paolo got stuck in his attempt to escape down a ladder, she let Gianciotto in the room); when Gianciotto lunged at Paolo with a sword, Francesca stepped between the two men and was killed instead, much to the dismay of her husband, who then promptly finished off Paolo as well.