Character of the Week: Victorian Artist Names

This one reminds me of the ladies in Grey Gardens.

Female, mid-30s, born in the mid-1800s in the London suburbs
Her daughter is Beatrice, her ex-husband is William, and she interacts with a mistress named Madame Snogrante.
She is an artist, though not especially talented. Her source of income is her portion of her ex-husband’s wealth and her inheritance. She is eccentric (perhaps somewhat insane), overly-optimistic, silly, and occasionally very shallow.
Supernatural Horror

I wish I knew more about the plot of this one. From the character’s description it sounds like an historical drama, but the writer said it is a supernatural horror. I’m left wondering if this character is the victim, the drama-adding neighbor, or the disturbed ghost.

Nevertheless, her place in the story is not as important for her naming as the time when she was born. I searched for Victorian names with a bit of a kooky vibe.

  • Eudora
  • Maude
  • Lydia
  • Philomena
  • Rowena

The writer replied: I chose Lydia. Thank you so much.

As a name in a supernatural horror, I think Lydia will work. Unfortunately I wish I had thought sooner about the potential for readers to think about another Victorian literary Lydia, in Pride and Prejudice. I think today I wouldn’t suggest a name that target readers may strongly associate with another writer’s character, because part of the reason why writers look for “unusual” or “unique” names is so that readers won’t be thinking about another character by that name (especially if there are relatively few characters with that name).


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