NAMES ONE WISHES ONE HAD MADE UP.

Recently Dr. Boli began the arduous task of adding the series Rerum Britannicarum Medii Aevi Scriptores to his Eclectic Library. It is arduous because there are at least 99 parts in the series, and many of the parts are themselves sets of multiple volumes, and most on-line-libraries have no notion of how to deal with multiple-volume sets. Hathi Trust can deal with them if they are all from the same library’s collection, but the most complete set at Hathi Trust is missing many of the volumes, and Hathi Trust books are restricted in their use in ways that books from Google Books and the Internet Archive are not.

These bibliographical complaints, however, are not our subject today. The subject is the names of the editors, and occasionally of the authors. A large number of nineteenth-century English scholars bore names that Dr. Boli finds himself wishing he had invented for some work of fiction. Here is a short list of such names. In each case it would be worth writing a novel just for the purpose of including a character with that name.

Sir Travers Twiss

The Rev. Walter Waddington Shirley

John Eyton Bickersteth Mayor

The Rev. Oswald Cockayne (editor of Leechdoms, Wortcunning, and Starcraft of Early England, which would certainly figure in the novel)

Sir Thomas Duffus Hardy

The Rev. John Williams ab Ithel

N. E. S. A. Hamilton

The Rev. James F. Dimock

Reginald Pecock, D.D., sometime Lord Bishop of Chichester

The Rev. Francis Charles Hingeston

Edward Edwards (we would make him Edward E. Edwards, and he would reveal near the end of the story that the E stands for Ethelbrecht)

And, of course, the constantly mutating publisher Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans [sic], & Roberts; Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts; Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, and Green; &c. This would be what the photoplay writers call a running gag.