Countess Ellen Olenska (The Age of Innocence) Countess Ellen Olenska is the memorable character in Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer Prize winning 1920 novel, The Age of Innocence who poses a threat to the marriage plans of two young members of upper class society in New York City of the 1870s. Ellen is the older, sophisticated and worldly cousin of May Welland, who is engaged to Newland Archer. Ellen has just returned from Europe alone, and plans to divorce her husband, a Polish count who has been cruel and unfaithful. Divorce in these circles at this time is unthinkable, and Ellen’s family enlists Mr. Archer, an attorney, to try and talk her out of it. In the process, he comes to appreciate her independence and to see how inequitable are the social restraints under which he has been raised. Fighting against the powerful attraction he has for Ellen, Archer convinces May to marry sooner than planned. Ellen, likewise in love and realizing its futility, nobly rises to the occasion. She agrees not to divorce her husband, she remains in America, and she distances herself from the young couple. Ultimately, upon learning of May’s pregnancy, she returns to Europe just as Archer is poised to leave May for her. Society’s strictures triumph, although, seeing Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1993 movie by Martin Scorsese makes us wonder where Daniel Day-Lewis found the fortitude.
Ellen Robillard O’Hara (Gone with the Wind) Ellen O’Hara is the mother of Scarlett O’Hara in Margaret Mitchell’s classic 1936 novel, Gone With the Wind, made into the equally successful 1939 movie of the same name (in which the character is played by the serene Barbara O’Neill). Ellen is an aristocratic Southern girl of French descent who, thwarted in her desire to marry her true love, devotes herself to the earthy Gerald O’Hara and the running of the plantation called Tara. She is almost impossibly good and dutiful, and presents a difficult model for her daughter to live up to. At the same time, however, Ellen provides the steadfast moral support for the family that almost immediately falls apart after her death. Scarlett, by dint of her formidable tenacity, turns their fortunes around, albeit not quite in the fashion of which Ellen would have approved. Nonetheless, it would appear to be Ellen’s influence that allows Scarlett to keep going, no matter the cost.
Ellen - a song by 10,000 Maniacs
Poor Ellen Smith - a song by Kingston Trio
Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella (Susan Lowell) - Once upon a time, there was a sweet cowgirl named Cindy Ellen, who lived with the orneriest stepmother west of the Mississippi and two stepsisters who were so nasty, they made rattlesnakes look nice! But when a fast-talkin' fairy godmother teaches Cindy Ellen a little lesson about gumption, Cindy lassos first place at the rodeo and the heart of Joe Prince...You may think you've heard the story before-but you'll get a side-splittin' bellyache after you're through with this hilarious rendition told Wild West-style! Recommended for ages 4-8.
Ellen Tebbits (Beverly Cleary) - Ellen Tebbits has a secret that she'll never share with anyone. That is, until she meets Austine—and discovers that Austine has the same secret! Soon the girls are best friends who do everything together—attending dance class, horseback riding, and dodging pesky Otis Spofford. But then Ellen does something terrible, and now Austine isn't speaking to her. Will Ellen be able to prove how sorry she truly is? Recommended for ages 8-12.
Ellen's Broom (Kelly Starling Lyons) - A young girl learns a new meaning for freedom during the time of Reconstruction. Ellen always knew the broom resting above the hearth was special. Before it was legal for her mother and father to officially be married, the broom was what made them a family anyway. But now all former slaves who had already been married in their hearts could register as lawful husband and wife. When Ellen and her family make the long trip to the courthouse dressed in their best, she brings the broom her parents had jumped so many years before. Even though freedom has come, Ellen knows the old traditions are important too. After Mama and Papa's names are recorded in the register, Ellen nearly bursts with pride as her parents jump the broom once again. Ellen is a wonderfully endearing character whose love for her family is brought to life in Daniel Minter's rich and eye-catching block print illustrations. Recommended for ages 5-8.
Famous People Named Ellen - Ellen Arthur (U.S. First Lady); Ellen Wilson (U.S. First Lady); Ellen DeGeneres (comedienne/TV personality); Ellen Barkin (actress); Ellen Burstyn (actress); Ellen Page (actress); Ellen Pompeo (actress); Ellen Tyne Daly (actress); Ellen Naomi Cohen (aka "Mama" Cass Elliot/musician); Ellen Cleghorne (SNL cast member); Ellen G. White (author); Ellen Foley (singer); Ellen Hopkins (author)
Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Ellen - Chester A. Arthur (U.S. President); Ulysses S. Grant (Civil War General/hero and U.S. President)