An Abundance of Katherines*

In the holidays we visited our local cemetery. Alice, being an emo in training, loves it there. She and her friends scrambled between the gravestones, respectfully apologising if they accidentally stepped on anyone, and scattering flowers from our backyard onto the graves that particularly appealed, especially if there was someone buried there who shared their own name. I remember the particular thrill of finding an inscription for a departed Kate or Katherine, the tiny sizzle of a bond with a long-dead stranger.

As a child, I was always drawn toward historical figures who shared my name, and there were plenty of them -- Henry VIII married no less than three Catherines! Katharine Hepburn was a forceful, glamorous Kate, and Kate Jackson from Charlie's Angels was the smart, sassy Angel. Best of all was The Taming of the Shrew. The 1967 film with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made a big impression on me, especially Petruchio's speech:
You are called plain Kate,
And bonny Kate and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom
Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation.
Sigh! There was another bossy Katharine in Edward Eager's first two magic books (despite what Petruchio says, literary Kates tend not to be "sweet").

So tell me, what famous figures who shared your name (if any!) did you identify with?

NB I've just found myself listed as a "famous" Kate! How hilarious!

Not-Quite-NaNoWriMo Update
A week in, I'm up to 13,000 words. I'm trying each day to write 500 words, then do yoga, another 500, then lunch, another 500 and then I can read as a reward before hometime, and so far it's working pretty well. (I didn't do much at the weekend because we went away, but I still did a bit.) I don't know how people fit this around their normal lives and jobs - I dips me lid, proper NaNoWriMo-ers!

* which I must confess I haven't actually read yet


  1. Um, Jenny, the drug-crazed call girl in Forrest Gump... Not sure how much we have in common. ;) x

  2. Judy Woolcot. Of course. Also, my mother read a book when she was a child called Madcap Judy (she kept a reading log) which I've never managed to find a copy of, but will one of these days!