Baby name story: Panther


Famous British writers H. G. Wells and Rebecca West carried on a decade-long love affair from 1913 to 1923. (Wells was married at the time, and this was one of his many affairs.)

But by the autumn of 1913 the lovers were addressing each other as “Jaguar” (Wells) and “Panther” (West). By December, West was pregnant. Rusticated to the Norfolk coast, she gave birth to their son on Aug. 4, 1914. His name has the aura of a neglectful curse: Anthony Panther West.

As the same writer put it in the next sentence, “for a middle name, he had [his mother’s] feline prowess in bed.”

I wonder when Anthony was made aware of this, and how he felt about it once he knew.

What are your thoughts on this name?


P.S. The initials in “H. G. Wells” stand for Herbert and George. Wells penned a number of sci-fi classics, including The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine.

P.P.S. Rebecca West was born Cicily Isabel Fairfield. She took the pen name “Rebecca West” from a character in Henrik Ibsen’s play Rosmersholm.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.