Perdita is a character in Love & Pollination by Mari Jane Law. Here are some interesting facts about the name and some connections with the book.
Perdita is a large genus or group of small bees native to North America. The image above has been taken from the front cover of Love & Pollination. I have no idea what genus it’s from!
Perdita is also a minor satellite around the planet Uranus. Although it was discovered sooner, it was apparently only officially recognised in 2003. Other satellites around Uranus have been named after Shakespearean characters too.
In Latin, Perdita means ‘lost’. I’ve discovered that Urban Dictionary has its own take on the meaning of Perdita – ignore this as far as my character goes.
Perdita was coined by Shakespeare for a heroine in his play, The Winter’s Tale. It was an appropriate name for the character as Perdita was abandoned as a baby – by the order of her father, the king, as he suspected Perdita was not his child. You can read more of the plot here. Although the Perdita in Love & Pollination was not deliberately abandoned, she was orphaned as a baby so was still effectively ‘lost’ to her parents – and she certainly felt lost. Read Love & Pollination to find out more of her story.
How do I pronounce Perdita? Click here to hear or click another source below.
Online research suggests these sounds are more how Shakespeare pronounced Perdita. However, many people say Per-dee-tah with an emphasis on the ‘eeee’. I have a strong preference for the other pronunciation. Which do you prefer?
The name Perdita was given to a dog who gave birth to loads of puppies in Dodie Smith’s The Hundred and One Dalmatians, later made into the popular Disney movie, 101 Dalmatians. Perdita didn’t give birth to them all with her canine partner, Pongo. Read more about them on Wikipedia. In Love & Pollination, Perdita feels some connection with the dog Perdita at some stage. Read the book to find out when this happens and why.