'Rafe' is definitely the medieval pronunciation. I assume Morris was aware of this, but I'm not sure offhand of any specific evidence to that effect.
Funny that, even knowing that, I think of the Well's hero's name as 'ralff' not 'rafe'
On Jun 19, 2011, at 9:27 PM, dale nelson wrote:
1.We pronounce composer Vaughan Williams's first name, Ralph, as Rafe. So the hero of William Morris's The Well at the World's End: Pronounce it "ralph" or "rafe"? Can anyone settle that question? I always heard it as "ralph," but I wonder if Morris did.
Jokes about Coleridge's "Afe the Sacred River" may be dispensed with.
2.I had assumed Charles Williams invented the last name of his villain in War in Heaven and Many Dimensions, Giles Tumulty. But recently I learned that Woodrow Wilson's secretary was named Joe Tumulty. So it's a real name; and I suppose it is even possible that CW saw the secretary's name and relished its appropriateness for a bad guy.