Saturday, 18 April 2015

P for Pelican

English: The Pelican, Tacolneston Public House
The Pelican Public House in my novel When Skies Are Grey is the place where everything happens - well, maybe not everything. But it provides the backdrop for many of the major events that help to move the plot along.

Being a pub it made sense to hold special occasions at the Pelican. Like a wedding and a birthday party, or a gig. At each special occasion a startling revelation occurs, a secret is shared or a lie was told.

Most certainly, the Pelican is the place for important dialogue, conflict not to mention the live jazz music on a Friday night. Although several scenes of significance happen to my characters outside its walls - outside London, or England even - somehow or other, they all find themselves back at The Pelican.

I just plucked the name out of the air as a working name for my pub but decided to look into the myths, legends, religious connotations and history surrounding the pelican to see if it suited the pub itself. (Although I'm already sure the name will stick).
  • In Ancient Egypt the pelican or henet is depicted in relation to funerals for protection against snakes in the afterlife and is also scene as a goddess.
  • In an old myth by the Murri people of Australia, the pelican was once all black. He daubed himself in white to seek revenge on the woman he fell in love with but who ran away from him after he saved her life. Another pelican killed him for looking so strange and pelicans have been black and white since.
  • The Moche people of ancient Peru were lovers of animals and often depicted the pelican in their art.
  • In Christianity the pelican became the Passion of Jesus and the Eucharist because of the female's attentiveness to their young - to the point of drawing her own blood to feed her offpsring if food was scarce.
  • Pelicans are featured extensively in heraldry in relation to Christianity. Amongst many emblems where the pelican is featured, Corpus Christi Colleges in both Oxford and Cambridge Universities use the pelican in their coat of arms.
And the list goes on. So, by chance, I came to use a significant bird in the naming of a pub that has so much significance to the atmosphere, setting and cast of When Skies Are Grey.


  1. Pubs are great for many reasons. The man character in my series owns a tavern. It's not as artfully named as your Pelican, though. It's a nice name. Untethered Realms / MPax

    1. Thanks M, for visiting and commenting on my post!

  2. Visiting during the blog #Challenge. Always happy to find a fellow writer. The naming of characters or PUBS is one of the things I love about creating a novel. I don't attach some obscure meaning to a name, but do find names important as to how seriously I take a character. Thanks for all the hard work it takes to participate.

    1. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Yes the challenge is hard work so it's nice to have it acknowledged. Look forward to visiting your blog, Stephany!