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In Middlemarch by George Eliot Dorothea Brook's nickname is Dodo.

Or actually to be exact her sister, Celia Brook's nickname for her is Dodo.

Is this an allusion to Dorothea's almost extinct kind?

I am presuming her kind to be the 'Mother Teresa' type; which the book's underlying moral seems to suggest can no longer exist (i.e. good deeds and greater causes are no longer, everyday kindness and little steps are all that can be taken).

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    Chronologically possible, according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodo#Extinction , people in England became aware of the Dodo as extinct from about 1830 on. But I think unlikely. More fruitful: Dorothy = God's Gift. – kimchi lover May 8 '18 at 13:46
  • I can't comment on this work specifically, but, in my experience, the best authors are very precise in the names they choose for characters, and the names convey meaning. I think your thesis is highly plausible! – DukeZhou May 11 '18 at 19:54
  • But you are not alone in thinking this: see victorianweb.org/authors/eliot/middlemarch/jones2.html . – kimchi lover May 12 '18 at 15:36
  • @kimchi-lover If you modify that into an answer I will upvote it. It seems like an interesting theory, though I don't agree with the image of Sir James as a hunter. – Mirte May 13 '18 at 16:33
  • Thanks, but I think I won't. I have not read Middlemarch and don't feel qualified to judge the issues myself. – kimchi lover May 14 '18 at 2:57

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