Zohar’s Man of la Book, a popular Bookish blog, has just posted a short, entertaining piece I’ve written about the naming of characters in popular fiction–Polly, in particular.

It begins:

“Pop­u­lar fic­tion for younger read­ers has long fea­tured adven­tur­ous, resource­ful, deter­mined female pro­tag­o­nists, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice to L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy to Philip Pullman’s Lyra to Susanne Collins’s Katniss.

“Their influ­ence on the cul­ture can be far-reaching. The Won­der­ful Wiz­ard of Oz was first pub­lished, to great acclaim, in 1900.  Four years later, respond­ing reluc­tantly to the demands of the novel’s admir­ers, the author pub­lished a sequel, The Mar­velous Land of Oz, but Baum’s eager, insis­tent read­ers would not let him stop there.  His pub­lisher released addi­tional sequels in 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1913, and every year there­after until 1919, when he died.”

Stop by Zohar’s place for the rest!

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