It’s morning. Prime writing time, and I’ve settled myself in Lady B’s library because, well because it is much more fabulous than mine! (And the maids always bring me a cup of chocolate. Really, complete and total heaven!)
Lady B: What is that you have there? Is that a French novel?
Sabrina: It’s not.
Lady B: (reading) The Regency Guide to Baby Names. My dear Miss Darby, are you with child? I’m shocked, you aren’t even married.
Sabrina: Oh no! I’m not, but I am actually married. The “Miss” thing, it’s just here in the ballroom. I’m certain we’ve addressed this once in the comments before. You know, space/time/alternate universe?
Lady B: I know no such thing. However, if you are not expecting, why are you reading that book. In fact, I’ve never heard of that book before.
She plucks the leather bound volume out of my hands.
Lady B: (reading) Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Caroline, Lydia, Georgiana. (She hands the book back to me.) Those are all fine names.
Sabrina: Fine, yes, but every one of them is to be found in an Austen novel. Look, later on the page we have Emma.
Lady B: I presume that Miss Austen—Oh! Miss Austen. Please do not tell me that she, too, is secretly married.
Sabrina: As far as I know, Lady B, she was, ahem, is as single as they come.
Lady B: I am relieved. Perhaps I should invite her to the Ballroom. There are always handsome young gentlemen milling about here. In any event, Miss Austen most certainly chose such names because they are fine English names. Many of our Queens and Princesses have borne those names.
Sabrina: I agree, and I confess, many of my heroines have similar names, but last month I had the most unfortunate situation of a hero telling me he refused to go by the name I was calling him. And I was thinking perhaps I should start going with more celebrity style names.
Lady B: Celebrity style?
Sabrina: Oh right, well, it’s very common in my hometown for actors and musicians, or anyone well known, to name their new babies after objects or colors. Or metaphysical ideas.
Lady B: Hmm. I do suppose that is not dissimilar to the recent trend of naming children after classical mythological figures or after characters from Shakespeare. I myself am named after a flower.
Sabrina: Yes, flowers are quite common, like Lily or Violet or Hyacinth…. Not that Heliotrope is common at all. My own name, Sabrina, is derived from the river Severn.
Lady B: The Severn is in Wales. But I suppose Milton made it quite an English name.
Sabrina: Yes. I also love the name Kate for a heroine. Lauren is an excellent one as well, although not typical for Regency. For the heroes, in Regency romance, we frequently have Robert, Henry, Harry, John, George, Edward. Then there are the secondary names, a bit more romantic but still popular: Sebastian, Colin, Benedict, Spencer, Julian, Alexander.
Lady B: No, no, we had a Leam here the other day. And I am positive Miss Foley had a hero with a more unusual name.
Sabrina: True. In any case, I’m not certain whether it is those March doldrums Miranda mentioned earlier this week, or something else, but I think it high time for me to choose some more outrageous names for my heroes and heroines.
So imagine an adventurous celebrity was naming their baby in the Regency era, what would it be? And what is the most outlandish name you’ve read in Regency fiction?