Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0015915, Fri, 25 Jan 2008 11:23:53 -0500

ADDITION: Character Names in PF
Dear list,

Those of you receiving the latest issue of The Nabokovian may have read my
note about Sabine Baring-Gould's book Family Names and Their Story, which
provided Nabokov with names and/or character details for Fleur de Fyler,
Harfar Baron Shalksbore, Joseph Lavender, the Bretwits, Caroline Lukin, and
Campbell/Beauchamp. I woud like to make a small addition. In the same
passage where Kinbote explains the derivation of Lukin, he says, "Other
names derive from professions such as Rymer, Scrivener, Limner (one who
illuminates parchments)..." etc. On page 112 of Baring-Gould's book, Rymer
and Scrivener are given as adjacent entries. Rymer means "a reciter of poems
and ballads." For Scrivener, Baring-Gould writes, "In the castle or hall the
illiterate noble or Lord of the Manor was obliged to employ a writer, to put
down his accounts, arrange contracts in writing with his tenants, and do his
general correspondence. As a surname we have both Scrivener and Scribner."
On page 141, instead of Limner, Baring-Gould gives us Limmer, "an artist who
decorates manuscripts." Alas, Baring-Gould does not give an entry for

Matt Roth

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