Friday, 3 June 2005

Dolly Varden

Gina over at Patra's Place has started talking about Dolly Varden, and we were trying to work out where the name, as a sort of alternate to Crinoline Ladies and Sunbonnet Sue, came from.

So, as I am drinking my mid-morning coffee, I decided to have a search.

First I was led down the avenue of a popular rock band. It didn't help me much.

Then it appears there species of Trout (ie fish) named a Dolly Varden. And there I did find help. Because they were talking about where the name originated - Thanks to DollyVardenAlaska, we find:

The original Dolly Varden is a character in the Charles Dickens's novel "Barnaby Rudge" and was well known as being quite flirtatious wearing her flashy attire and colorful dresses one of which was green with pink polka dots. Dolly Varden's Reputation ~ A Classic Case of Not Knowing The Whole Story.

I'm not sure if the green and pink polka dots is the link to the fish, in my one picture in the Jennifer Isaacs book, there are definitely polka dots on the dress. Other sources give it as a name for any woman wearing very colourful dresses, from the same Dickins source.

Still Googling - the fish gets many, many more hits than the band - it is a "stubborn, irridescent trout".

So I refined my search a bit, and got things like this picture, and a description of the 1870s Dolly Varden Dress.

But even searching for "Dolly Varden" and "dress" gets zillions of hits on how to dress when going out to catch a Dolly Varden fish.

So I am giving up - however the main theme seems to be garish clothing or pink polka dots on green. I didn't bother researching to see if that was the sort of costume the band wears.


Blogger Sharon said...

Thank goodness I didn't live back then - those clothes make me claustrophobic just looking at them... LOL I have enough trouble with clothes now...Remember there was a dolly varden cake as well...

12:50 pm  

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