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efreysson
06-29-2016, 02:59 AM
Wikipedia tells me that in conversation a duke is addressed as "Your Grace". But would a social superior, i.e. the king, use it?

I'm not very familiar with use of titles in the English language.

benbenberi
06-29-2016, 03:06 AM
Assuming you're talking about England, the direct form of address from a peer or superior would be "Duke."

shortstorymachinist
06-29-2016, 03:07 AM
Wikipedia tells me that in conversation a duke is addressed as "Your Grace". But would a social superior, i.e. the king, use it?

I'm not very familiar with use of titles in the English language.

Just on instinct I'm inclined to say no. I don't think a king would call him "Your Grace," although he would probably still call him "Duke So-and-so" unless they were good friends or the king felt contemptuous.

Catherine_Beyer
06-29-2016, 03:26 AM
In historical dramas, I think the king just addresses them by their peerage. So the Duke of Suffolk was just "Suffolk," which was the common way peers addressed one another after getting the ceremonial greetings out of the way. (A baron doesn't have to say "Your Grace" to a duke for every sentence, for example. Once he's says it, they're cool.)

ULTRAGOTHA
06-29-2016, 03:46 AM
It depends on when and where you're writing. Also the personal relationship the two have.

oceansoul
06-29-2016, 01:51 PM
Historically speaking, most Kings would have called their Dukes by their first name or the title of the peerage in an informal way.

I.e. "Charles" or "Suffolk"

That just seems to be what gets recorded.

Source: I studied Medieval Lit/History in Grad School.

Catherine_Beyer
06-30-2016, 08:06 AM
First names would indicate a very close relationship.

WeaselFire
07-01-2016, 01:30 AM
What Duke, where and when? Often, they would just call them "Bob." Or whatever their name was. Or just the title, as in "Duke, glad to see you."

How formal is the setting? In a court event they would be address more formally than hanging out in your local bordello. :)

Jeff

R.Barrows
07-01-2016, 02:02 AM
What Duke, where and when? Often, they would just call them "Bob." Or whatever their name was. Or just the title, as in "Duke, glad to see you."

How formal is the setting? In a court event they would be address more formally than hanging out in your local bordello. :)

Jeff

I agree with Jeff. If they're normally familiar with each other, first names would be appropriate. Totally inappropriate for everyone else, which is understood, which makes the familiar reference that more striking. To the King, the social conventions would be reversed. He'd refer to his heads as familiar and his subjects may get formal greetings. It's one of the ways to differentiate them. Readers should notice it. I would.

mirandashell
07-01-2016, 03:00 PM
No, I don't think he would call them Duke. We have an awful lot of Dukes and have had for a very long while. So saying 'Duke' would have a lot of them looking at each other and saying 'who me?'

He would refer to their title. Suffolk, Norfolk, Gloucester. Wherever they are Duke of. Read the History plays of Shakespeare. That's how they referred to each other then.

benbenberi
07-01-2016, 04:40 PM
Correct information for the UK from Correct Forms of Address (http://www.chinet.com/~laura/html/titles12.html) (using information from Titles and Forms of Address: A Guide to Their Correct Use. London: A. & C. Black Ltd., Third Edition, 1932.)

"Addressed in speech as: "Your Grace" (by inferiors) or "Duke" (by social equals) the first time in conversation, followed by "Sir" (or the title name, e.g. "Glastonbury," if addressed by a very close friend or relative).
"Referred to in speech as: "His Grace" (by inferiors), or "The Duke" (by social equals)"

The sources don't specify how a superior (monarch) would address a duke, but politeness dictates they use the address as by equals unless the king is being obviously disrespectful

mirandashell
07-01-2016, 11:31 PM
We don't have a Duke of Glastonbury, do we? It's in Somerset.

benbenberi
07-02-2016, 01:01 AM
No, the "Duke of Glastonbury" would be a fictional personage.

mirandashell
07-02-2016, 01:37 AM
I wouldn't recommend that. It's always a county, not a town. Unless it's London which is divided up into Dukedoms, like Westminster. But 'Duke of Glastonbury' or 'Duke of Manchester' would earn a curled lip.

ETA: I tell a lie, there is a Duke of Manchester. Descended from the Montagues, an old Norman family. But they now have no estate and no money so that's probably why no-one's heard of them!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Manchester

waylander
07-02-2016, 02:36 PM
Duke of Cambridge, Duke of Windsor, Duke of York, Duke of Newcastle........

mirandashell
07-02-2016, 06:02 PM
I think it was just the Duke of Glastonbury that made me curl my lip cos there's a Duke of Somerset.

Deb Kinnard
07-03-2016, 06:48 PM
Depends on where (all my small knowledge is UK-based) and when (all I know is medieval). But I hold with those who say the King would call him Charlie in private if they're friends, Suffolk or whatever his peerage is, in more formal or official settings. Of course, if it works for your story, the King might call him Charlie most of their lives and Suffolk if the latter had angered His Majesty. That might be a good and subtle way to tell Charlie that the Monarch is Not Amused.

efreysson
07-03-2016, 07:50 PM
I appreciate the replies.

As for setting, it's a space opera, so I have a decent freedom to just make things up, but I want to stick at least somewhat close to real-life language for the sake of verisimilitude.

I guess I'll just go with "Duke John", "Duchess Anna", and so on.

mirandashell
07-03-2016, 08:27 PM
:Huh:

ULTRAGOTHA
07-03-2016, 08:32 PM
I appreciate the replies.

As for setting, it's a space opera, so I have a decent freedom to just make things up, but I want to stick at least somewhat close to real-life language for the sake of verisimilitude.

I guess I'll just go with "Duke John", "Duchess Anna", and so on.

That would certainly be made up.

In the UK at least, Dukes are not referred to as "Duke Firstname" It's the Duke of PlaceName. Frex: The Duke of Denver. The King and Peers and friends would call him "Denver", unless they were very close friends and in private where it *might* be "Gerald" (first name) or a nick name.

The only titles where a first name is used are the honorary titles given to the children of Dukes and the first born son, and any daughters, of an Earl. These are Lord or Lady Firstname.

So the Duke of Denver has two sons: His firstborn son uses the Duke's lesser title--Viscount St. George. His second and subsequent sons are Lord Firstname. His daughters are Lady Firstname.

An Earl's first born son is Lord Firstname (unless there is a lesser title to use, such as Viscount Fauntleroy), his subsequent sons are Mr. Familylastname. His daughters are all Lady Firstname.

Other than those few Lord and Lady Firstnames, they're all addressed by their title by their friends, peers and superiors in public or if they aren't close.

Rufus Coppertop
07-03-2016, 08:48 PM
Warwick (Earl of) - It is reported, mighty sovereign, that good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murd'red by Suffolk (Duke of) and the Cardinal Beaufort's means....."

King - That he is dead, good Warwick (Earl of), 'tis too true; blah blah blah......

Shakespeare Henry VI Part 2

Personally, I can't believe that a king would address a duke as "duke" or an earl as "earl"in the sense of saying, "good morning duke, what a bright and sunny day the lord hath bestowed upon us" or words to that effect.I'm pretty sure I've seen BBC costume dramas such as the Six Wives of Henry VIII wherethe king addresses people as "my lord Salisbury" not in the sense of Salisbury somehow being a lord over the king but a lord over others belonging to the king.

Sometimes the BBC get things right with stuff like that although I wouldn't trust them an inch with ancient Rome.

mirandashell
07-03-2016, 11:48 PM
To be honest, speaking as an English person, if I read Duchess Anna I'd most likely put the book down and read something else.

Rufus Coppertop
07-03-2016, 11:57 PM
Me too.

Sorry Efreysson, but you're going to lose at least two potential readers with that.

efreysson
07-04-2016, 03:49 PM
To be honest, speaking as an English person, if I read Duchess Anna I'd most likely put the book down and read something else.


Me too.

Sorry Efreysson, but you're going to lose at least two potential readers with that.

Er, I'm confused.

Is it the plain name? I was just using at as an example.

Rufus Coppertop
07-04-2016, 05:54 PM
Duchess Anna as an example.

lizbeth dylan
07-04-2016, 06:15 PM
See the detailed post from Ultragotha. It is very helpful.

A title is generally linked to a place. So you wouldn't use "Duke John" or "Duchess Anna". It would more likely be something like:

John, duke of Somethingham

Anna, duchess of Anyothertown

In general, I've seen peers of equal rank address each other by the place part of the title ("Somethingham" in the example above). However in a book I'm currently reading the main character (Richard) is a very close friend of the king (King Edward) and they refer to each other in private as Richard and "Ned". I don't know how historically accurate that would be, but in reading those scenes it conveys a sense of trust and friendship between the two.

efreysson
07-04-2016, 07:45 PM
Duchess Anna as an example.

What? I think there's something missing in that sentence.

mirandashell
07-04-2016, 08:22 PM
The first name doesn't go with the title. So it would just strike me as really wrong. And that would put me off reading the story.

benbenberi
07-04-2016, 10:48 PM
I think the problem with "Duchess Anna" is that in English usage a person would never be addressed that way -- the combination "Duke Firstname"/"Duchess Firstname" is just never an appropriate way to name someone in the normal English schema, no matter how friendly/informal or otherwise the relationship would be.

In an SFF setting, of course, you're not bound by the normal rules that apply in a real-world setting. If you want to say "Duchess Anna," you're free to go ahead. But since it is a style that you're inventing for your fictional setting, you'll want to make sure to think through what other changes it implies in your setting and how they would show up, and to signal clearly that you're doing it as part of your well-thought-out world building and not because you didn't bother to do the research and don't know you got it wrong.

ULTRAGOTHA
07-04-2016, 10:54 PM
Efreysson, What we're trying to say here is that "Duchess Anna" is not correct. It's so not correct, that it would cause several people to put down the book and not finish reading. "Anna, Duchess of Denver" is correct. Calling her "Duchess" is correct. Calling her "Your Grace" is correct. Calling her "Duchess Anna" is very not correct.

Since you're not writing an historical novel, you can create your title structure however you wish. But it will take more work to make it plausible (and consistent!) for the reader, since many readers are very familiar with the British title system. You'd have to work to have readers accept your changes.

(Lois McMaster Bujold has had to live with this all through her Vorkosigan books, and finally just sat down and did the exposition in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. So readers either accept the inconsistency of titles on Barrayar, or they grit their teeth and read through. She's one of the best writers in SF/F and can get away with a lot. I love her books with the heat of 1,000 suns, but I want to sit down with her young self and wax lyrical on the virtues of consistent titles, damn it. Bad title use will also cause me to not finish an historical book. I hatesss it, precioussss.)


So it's your choice. Either work with the reader to show that "Duchess Anna" is how titles work in your universe, or use the British (or some other country's) title system correctly. Otherwise you're likely to lose readers.

Lady ULTRAGOTHA

ETA: Or, more or less what benbenberi said.

Rufus Coppertop
07-04-2016, 11:06 PM
What? I think there's something missing in that sentence.First name + title doesn't work.

Deb Kinnard
07-06-2016, 03:05 AM
Effreyson, the m.o. here is to give no-one -- editor, agent, customer/reader -- any reason to put your book down. "Duchess Anna" would do that for me, and apparently some of the other posters here. It may serve you best to think of another form of address.

mirandashell
07-06-2016, 03:42 AM
Think of it this way, Duchess Anna or Duke Richard is as bad as writing something like:

'Sergeant Major Davis was currently serving on the HMS Ark Royal.'

It's just too wrong to ignore.

efreysson
07-10-2016, 02:28 AM
The first name doesn't go with the title. So it would just strike me as really wrong. And that would put me off reading the story.


Efreysson, What we're trying to say here is that "Duchess Anna" is not correct. It's so not correct, that it would cause several people to put down the book and not finish reading. "Anna, Duchess of Denver" is correct. Calling her "Duchess" is correct. Calling her "Your Grace" is correct. Calling her "Duchess Anna" is very not correct.



First name + title doesn't work.



It's just too wrong to ignore.

I have to admit I find this an oddly culture-centric point to make. As I said, I'm writing space opera, not about actual English nobility, and there have historically been different ways to handle names. I'm going with one that suits MY culture, and yes, that means characters in my setting are generally addressed by their first name.

mirandashell
07-10-2016, 03:34 AM
I'm sorry, I find it slightly strange that you accuse us of being culture-centric when you wrote this in the OP:


I'm not very familiar with use of titles in the English language.

And yes, you can call them what you like. But maybe asking for advice is the wrong thing to do if you just ignore it cos it's not what you want to hear.

Bolero
07-10-2016, 02:28 PM
Duke of Cambridge, Duke of Windsor, Duke of York, Duke of Newcastle........

Three of those are made up ones for royalty - as in not an old feudal peerage with the connotations of he ran the county so was Duke of County. Not heard of Duke of N (and not gone to look it up....... just a brief visit to AW today :) )

benbenberi
07-10-2016, 10:52 PM
Three of those are made up ones for royalty - as in not an old feudal peerage with the connotations of he ran the county so was Duke of County.

All English dukedoms are made up ones, mostly originally for royalty -- the old feudal peerage in England topped out at Earls, until the later Plantagenets starting naming their relatives Duke of this and Duke of that. And Duke of County was never a rule -- see frex the Dukes of Lancaster, York, Clarence, Buckingham, Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, etc. In England the connection between a Duke's title and any actual geographic power-base was always tenuous at best.

ULTRAGOTHA
07-11-2016, 03:19 AM
I have to admit I find this an oddly culture-centric point to make. As I said, I'm writing space opera, not about actual English nobility, and there have historically been different ways to handle names. I'm going with one that suits MY culture, and yes, that means characters in my setting are generally addressed by their first name.

If that's the case, then why did you ask us to spend our time answering your question?

Rufus Coppertop
07-11-2016, 11:43 AM
Absolutely.

And by the way....:mob .....this is a picket line. We all deserve rep points for taking the trouble, whether you're going to use the advice you asked for or not.

mirandashell
07-11-2016, 08:53 PM
True!

BDSEmpire
07-12-2016, 04:34 AM
How would a king address a duke? (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?320120-How-would-a-king-address-a-duke)
Regally.

BDSEmpire
07-12-2016, 04:41 AM
Ooh, ooh, I've got another!

Thread: How would a king address a duke? (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?320120-How-would-a-king-address-a-duke)
To: stanwick@duke.edu
From: tuppencefroppenshire@royals.uk.gov


How about:

http://i169.photobucket.com/albums/u212/theglittergeek/avatars/elvis-presley/elvis-presley5.png Hey there, John.

http://www.emoticonswallpapers.com/avatar/movies/John-Wayne.jpg Howdy.

Bolero
07-19-2016, 01:52 AM
And it took me a minute to get the King to Duke thing with pictures. Brilliant :D

Bolero
07-19-2016, 01:59 AM
All English dukedoms are made up ones, mostly originally for royalty -- the old feudal peerage in England topped out at Earls, until the later Plantagenets starting naming their relatives Duke of this and Duke of that. And Duke of County was never a rule -- see frex the Dukes of Lancaster, York, Clarence, Buckingham, Gloucester, Bedford, Exeter, etc. In England the connection between a Duke's title and any actual geographic power-base was always tenuous at best.

Knew the Plantagenets upping the titles game. :) Always wondered what you'd squeeze in between Duke and King...... :)
I had Dukes of Devonshire in my head (with their seat in Derbyshire..... :) ) and the Duchy of Cornwall when I wrote my post, but you are quite right.


To OP, you will need to sort out a consistent system for the offspring of the nobility and the subtle variations for those marrying the nobility - so Lord Peter Wimsey's wife is Lady Wimsey, not Lady Harriet. To be Lady Harriet she'd have to be born a Lady, not married into it.

However Russian system gave titles to all the kids (you'd need to Wiki that, just have a vague picture from reading historical novels) - but broadly a lot more people got high sounding titles.

Then under the English system, there is the complexity of multiple titles owned by one family - so if they had been Barons and were promoted to Earl, they still keep the Baron title and the eldest son and heir would be known by their former title - as in Baron Thing.

P-Baker
07-19-2016, 02:02 AM
To OP, you will need to sort out a consistent system for the offspring of the nobility and the subtle variations for those marrying the nobility - so Lord Peter Wimsey's wife is Lady Wimsey, not Lady Harriet.

She was Lady Peter. Wimsey is a name, not a title.

Deb Kinnard
07-19-2016, 03:26 AM
IIRC, the duchy of Cornwall was called so back to the days of Henry III, who conferred the title on his only brother, Richard. You who actually live in England, please correct me if I'm wrong.

waylander
07-19-2016, 02:58 PM
IIRC, the duchy of Cornwall was called so back to the days of Henry III, who conferred the title on his only brother, Richard. You who actually live in England, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Earl of Cornwall according to my sources

Bolero
07-19-2016, 11:05 PM
She was Lady Peter. Wimsey is a name, not a title.

Ttt. You are absolutely right.

And thinking about it, it used to be a more widespread habit - as in the wife of Mr John Smith, might be referred to as Mrs John Smith - her first name not appearing at all.