One of the most lovable of Shakespeare's characters. Her
pleading for Angelo is unrivalled. (Measure for Measure.)
Tennyson has two Marianas among his poems.
Daughter of the king of Sicily, beloved by Sir Alexander, one of
the three sons of St. George, the patron saint of England. Sir
Alexander married her, and was crowned king of Thessaly. (Seven Champions of Christendom
, iii. 3.)
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894