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State Of Grace

The girl’s name Grace fell out of fashion in the1930s but has recently become very popular again. Journalist Grace Dent sets out to discover what makes her name – and the notion – so captivating, as she explores the modern state of Grace on BBC radio 4, Monday 9 June at 11-11.30am.

Grace's grandmother once told her she was related to real-life Victorian heroine Grace Darling. It was the first time Grace sensed her name had enviable properties, after years of wanting to be called Joanne. The word ‘grace’ is associated with more than 20 different meanings and phrases. Many are theological but one early definition – ‘of pleasing quality’ – suggests Grace has some work to do if she wants to achieve the qualities inherent in her name and she’s not entirely sure she does.

From Greek mythology to Grace Jones, via philosophical reasoning and a morning at The Royal Ballet, Grace reflects on the modern merits of charm, poise and elegance as she searches for inner calm and acceptance, in a more secular age.

With contributions from Olivia 'damegrace' Cowley, a soloist with The Royal Ballet; names expert Carole Hough; Grace Kelly fan and film studies academic at Warwick, Stella Bruzzi; philosophy professor Miranda Fricker and Grace Maxwell.