Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Vanessa

 Vandy’ke (2 syl.).Vanity Fair. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Vanessa
 
is Miss Esther Vanhomrigh, and Cade’nus is Dean Swift. While he was still married to Stella [Miss Hester Johnson, whose tutor he had been] Miss Vanhomrigh fell in love with him, and requested him to marry her, but the dean refused. The proposal became known to his wife (?), and both the ladies died soon afterwards. Hester Johnson was called Stella by a pun upon the Greek aster, which resembles Hester in sound, and means a “star.” Miss Vanhomrigh was called Van-essa by compounding Van, the first syllable of her name, with Essa, the pet form of Esther. Cade’nus is simply deca’nus (dean) slightly transposed.   1
 


 Vandy’ke (2 syl.).Vanity Fair. 

 
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