What gave the baby name Athalie a boost in the 1910s?

The book "Athalie" (1915) by Robert W. Chalmers

The rare name Athalie first appeared in the U.S. baby name data in 1915. The very next year, it reached peak popularity:

  • 1917: 5 baby girls named Athalie
  • 1916: 23 baby girls named Athalie
  • 1915: 26 baby girls named Athalie [peak]
  • 1914: 7 baby girls named Athalie [debut]
  • 1913: unlisted
  • 1912: unlisted

We see a similar pattern of usage in the Social Security Death Index data:

  • 1917: 9 people named Athalie
  • 1916: 16 people named Athalie
  • 1915: 30 people named Athalie
  • 1914: 9 people named Athalie
  • 1913: 3 people named Athalie
  • 1912: 3 people named Athalie

What was drawing attention to the name Athalie around this time?

The story Athalie (subtitled: “A Romance of a Girl with a Strange Power”) by Robert W. Chambers. It was serialized in Cosmopolitan magazine from November of 1914 to August of 1915, and published as a standalone book in mid-1915.

The main character, Athalie Greensleeve, was a young, working-class woman who happened to be clairvoyant. Her love interest was a wealthy man named Clive (whose mother wanted him to marry a girl of their own social set — not Athalie).

I’m not sure how the author coined the name “Athalie” — maybe it’s based on Nathalie, the French form of Natalie? — but he does begin the story with the character’s birth, followed by her naming:

“What are you going to name her, papa?”

“Athalie, I believe,” he said absently.

“Athalie! What kind of name is that?” demanded Jack.

“I dunno. Your mamma wanted it in case the baby was a girl.”

What are your thoughts on the name Athalie?

Source: Chambers, Robert W. “Athalie.” Cosmopolitan Nov. 1914: 725-740.

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