For some time now I have wanted to write a novel in which all the characters are named after Dorset villages. Maybe it’d end up being a pastoral Hardyesque tale, who knows, but Dorset place names are wonderful for conjuring up characters. Here are some I’ve thought of.
Worth Matravers – elderly tweed clad, pipe smoking whiskery gamekeeper
Kingston Lacey – as Lacey Kingston this is our heroine, bit of an airhead, heiress
Margaret Marsh – the down to earth widow who runs the village post office
Piddletrenthide – split it as Piddle Trenthide and this is a fellow whose real name is Phillip, but he picked up his nickname in boarding school on account of his frequent bed wetting
Sixpenny Handley – dear old Simon went to the same school as Piddle Trenthide, and got his nickname for being not quite the full shilling
Melbury Osmond – all tan and teeth, tribute act playing the local pubs and clubs
Hazelbury Bryan – let’s rearrange her as Hazel Bury-Bryan, horse mad and horse-faced
Bishop’s Caundle – Bishop Caundle is the white-haired retiring clergyman with a dark past
Maiden Newton – the town bike, ironically nick-named
Melcombe Horsey – actually he’s Malcolm, but he has such an upper crust accent it comes out as Melcombe
Wimborne St Giles – can be Giles Wimborne and I think he’ll be the hero who sweeps Lacey off her feet
I could go on! Wiki has a useful list of Dorset place names and I suspect there are other counties with just as wonderfully named villages. What do you think – should I write the novel? No idea what kind of plot could encompass all those characters!