A Rose by any other name would not smell so sweet.

Names are fascinating. Many of the characters’ names in Alchemist Gift have hidden meanings. In renaissance Europe one named their child after a saint. Many of the characters in Alchemist Gift are. For instance, Ann is the patron saint of seamstresses and she appears (not Saint Ann, but her namesake) in the scene when Rosalba is dressing to meet her intended. Sofia on the other hand is named for the Greek goddess of wisdom and rebirth. The alchemist Rene Hermes, well we have Rene, which means rebirth and Hermes the Greek god of transitions and boundaries. (There is a present day Rene Hermes in Chicago who makes exquisite fine jewelry.) Marcella is a feminine off shoot of Mars, god of war. She is a strong and thoughtful woman. Rosalba, pure or white rose, a good and pious person gives birth to Rosanera,(Blackrose) who lives up to her name. Il Signore Testauro, or Mr Goldenhead, the Exchequer Langfinger (long finger or pick pocket) and on and on. I learned a lot about names writing this book. When you run across a name take the time to look it up. You’d be surprised what’s in a name.

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