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Heroine Names: Worthy Women with Notable Names, Part 2: Cultural Icons

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We looked at trailblazing women in Part One of this blog yesterday—bold and courageous achievers who would prove worthy namesakes for a daughter.  Now we turn to those with major accomplishments in the arts—a varied mix of writers, artists, and musicians of the far and fairly recent  past—many of whom seem to have appropriately creative names—whether they were born with them or not.

Again, remember that the name’s the thing here—so sorry, Mary Cassatt and Elizabeth Barrett Browning–not this time.

WRITERS

AGATHA Christie

ANAIS Nin

APHRA Behn (also seen on the trailblazer list)

AYN Rand

CARSON (born Lula) McCullers

CHARLOTTE Bronte

COLETTE (born Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette)

DJUNA Barnes

EDITH Wharton

EUDORA Welty

FLANNERY (born Mary) O’Connor

FREYA Stark

GWENDOLYN Brooks

HARPER (born Nelle) Lee

IRIS (born Jean) Murdoch

ISABELLE Allende

ISAK Dinesen (born Karen Blixen)

IVY Compton-Burnett

JESSAMYN (born Mary) West

JAMAICA (born Elaine) Kincaid

LETITIA Landon

LOUISA May Alcott

MAEVE Binchy

MAYA Angelou (born Margueritte Johnson)

NADINE Gordimer

NATALIA Ginzburg

PENELOPE Fitzgerald

RUMER (born Margaret) Godden

SAPPHO

TILLIE Olsen

URSULA Le Guin

VIRGINIA Woolf

VITA Sackville-West

WILLA Cather

ZADIE (born Sadie) Smith

ZORA Neale Hurston

ARTISTS

ARTEMISIA Gentileschi

BEATRIX Potter

BERENICE Abbott

CAMILLE Claudel

DOROTHEA Lange

FRIDA Kahlo

GEORGIA O’Keeffe

IMOGEN Cunningham

MARISOL

ROMAINE Brooks

ROSA Bonheur

ROSEALBA Carriera

SONIA Delaunay

TAMARA de Lempicka

MUSICIANS AND DANCERS

ADELINA Patti

ALBERTA Hunter

ALESSANDRA Ferri

ALLEGRA Kent

BILLIE Holiday

CECILIA Bartoli

CLARA Schumann

DINAH Washington

ELLA Fitzgerald

ETTA James

FREDERICA von Stade

GELSEY Kirkland

ISADORA Duncan

JOSEPHINE Baker

KIRI Te Kanawa

LENA Horne

LEONTYNE Price

LOIE Fuller

MONSERRAT Caballe

MAHALIA Jackson

MARGOT Fonteyn

NADIA Boulanger

NINA Simone

PIERINA Legnani (considered the first Prima Ballerina)

TAMARA Tourmanova

TANAQUIL LeClerq

TWYLA Tharp

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