Caroline is expecting her third child -- a surprise! -- to join Martha and Esther.
Caroline writes: "We both like traditional names that are not too common but we don't always see eye to eye. For girls, we both like Isabelle but feel this has possibly become too popular. And I like Elinor (after one of my favourite literary characters) but worry the spelling may be tiresome.
I don't like Austin, Alistair, Robert (but my husband does) and he doesn't like Seth, Rhys, Theo (but I love them)."
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For me, Elinor is a great choice. It beautifully compliments Martha and Esther, is meaningful, and has a great history. As for the spelling, as an Eleanor myself, I can honestly tell you that it doesn't matter how you spell the name, you will always have to spell it out. Even though Eleanor is the most common spelling (and peaked at #18 in 1999), I always have to automatically say over the phone/counters "Eleanor: E-L-E-A-N-O-R". An Elinor or Eleanor would have the same. Does it bother me? No, not really. I think my name is awesome and wouldn't want to change it for the sake of an insignificant inconvenience.
Annabel/le – If Isabelle is too popular, how about dulcet Annabel? A sweet elegant choice which, like Martha and Esther, has an ancient history.
Imogen – A pretty Shakespearean name which has a refined and gentle quality. Imogen shifts Martha and Esther from a Biblical set, to a darling Victorian trio.
Beatrice – As with Imogen, Beatrice is a Shakespearean heroine with a sweetly genteel quality which Martha and Esther share.
Clara – Ladylike with a hint of sass, Clara is a literary lovely which the Victorians adored. I can't tell you the number of 19th century families I've come across in census records with a Clara, Martha and Esther (or any combination of two), there are so many, so this pairing feels extremely natural.
Eloise – A refined French classic which has a romantic medieval heritage.
Tabitha – A sweet Victorian gem which is both ladylike and lively. Known but not especially common.
Felicity – Melodic and cheery (no pun intended given its meaning) with an ancient history which links back to the Roman goddess of happiness and good fortune.
Lydia – What Caroline, Richard, Martha and Esther all have in common for me is that they were all popular in the Georgian and Regency eras. Lydia is a bright and elegant Latin choice which was also a Regency-favourite.
Louisa – And so, too, was lovely Louisa which, like Lydia and the like, was also a name used by Jane Austen. Louisa is perfectly refined and classic but also a little unexpected.
Georgina – Another 18th century heritage choice is Georgina. Regal yet spirited; traditional and surprising.
Philippa – A queenly name which goes right back to the aristocracy of Ancient Greece and still retains a courtly flair. Feminine with a dash of tom-boy thrown in.
Bridget – Jane Austen also used this beautiful and evocative Gaelic name which was once borne by one of the most revered goddesses of the Celtic pantheon. And, it is little wonder she did, as, alongside Esther and Martha, Bridget was a staple of the 18th century and the three were commonly found together.
Edith – A queenly name which couples grace and gentility with sense and capability.
Rupert – A variant of Robert combined with the stateliness of Alistair and the friendliness of Seth and Theo.
Miles / Myles – Down-to-earth, affable and charming. Not at all flashy but completely enthralling and interesting.
Rowan – Both a nature name and Celtic heritage choice which is part Robert, part Rhys.
Finn – The name of a legendary Irish hero which now feels as sleek as Seth, as stylish as Austin and as distinguishedly Celtic as Alistair and Rhys.
Wesley – A friendly and down-to-earth choice which is well known but not overused.
Lachlan – As debonair as Alistair and as ardent as Rhys, Lachlan may just bridge the gap.
Edward – With the options of Teddy or Ned as nicknames, Edward is a kingly choice that never feels run-of-the-mill.
Toby – Playful Toby has old-style homeliness combined with dignified polish.
Lucas – A stately Roman name which now feels stylish, modern and friendly.
Michael – A solid classic that is friendly and handsome but often gets over-looked. When you encounter a little Michael, most now find it refreshingly charming.
Jonas – A dapper gentlemanly name which was a staple Georgian / Regency-era choice.
I hope this has been of use. Good luck with settling on the perfect name!