One of my favourite authors as a child was Cressida Cowell, you may be familiar with her work as she wrote the book that inspired the DreamWorks film How to Train Your Dragon. Indeed, that’s only a loose adaption of the first book in the series which chronicles the life of a young viking named Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III.
Today I discovered that the latest book, How To Seize A Dragon’s Jewel, has been out for month, without me even realising.
The name of the author of the book, Cressida, is in my eyes delightfully quirky, to say the least.
She appears in the writings of Shakespeare, in the play Troilus and Cressida. Now, admittedly, the character Cressida is perhaps not the most brilliant of namesakes, but it is admittedly one of the Bard’s lesser known works.
The character’s name was most likely inspired by Chaucer’s Criseyde, who in turn was inspired by Boccaccio who used the name Criseida, and of course everyone knows that Boccaccio was inspired by Benoit Ste Maure, who used the name Briseida in his writings.
This rather should endear Cressida to any literature lovers out there.
At the end of the day, you can trace Cressida back to the Ancient Greek names Briseis and Chryseis; the name Briseis most likely means to prevail, whilst the name Chryseis comes from Chryses, which means golden.