I live in England. No children yet.
Big congratulations! It's a lovely name, well worth waiting for, and I hope you've been enjoying getting to know him so far.
Many congratulations! Such a beautiful name, and I hope the first few weeks have gone well.
Yay that it's a girl! A little Cordelia would be awesome, if that's who she turns out to be.
I can't comment on Hebrew names, except to say that, to my completely untrained ear, Shimona doesn't sound "weird" - but then I do rather like sound-alikes like Ramona.
I agree with you and your husband on Bronwyn: happy to accept it on other people, but I've had far too much exposure to Welsh to use it myself. Of course, names with the Old English -wynn are all dandy...maybe you could justify it by pretending it's some kind of Welsh/Saxon mashup?!
I'd put them in the "not ideal but definitely doable" category. I know a family with girls called Tilly and Molly. Ok, the vowels are not so close to each other as Tillie and Nelly, but it seems to work fine for them, and I doubt many people think twice about the names sounding similar.
I enjoyed the boys so much I'll have a go at the girls too :-)
Switch first and middle: Louise Sophia
Change first: Stella Jessamine
Change middle: Olivia Ellen
Keep initials: Meriel Robin
Keep name: Leah Anne
Switch first and middle: James Alexander (sorry, Alexander!)
Change first name: Reuben Peter
Change middle: Stephen Mark
Keep initials: Frederick Gabriel
Keep name: Theodore Daniel
My mind also went to frillier names that could have Eva as a nickname. Apart from the ones already mentioned, there's Evelina, Evita, Everil, or perhaps Evonne or Evette. Good luck!
Congratulations! Lovely name.
If I were "James", I'd be flattered, but would prefer it if you mentioned it to me (assuming you're still in touch) before publication to avoid any awkward surprises.
I'd say it also depends on how common the name is: something well-known like James is fairly safe, as there are lots of other people associated with it too, but if your friend has a less usual name, it'll be hard to disguise where you got it from.
Hooray! I'm a bit dry on comments at the moment, but just want to chime in with the congratulations :-)
Ha! "DH wants to use family names from his side. They're quite traditional..."
Hale? Same root, could be a surname used as first name.
Congratulations! I'm glad you've made your decision, beautiful name.
I've had a skim through the Facebook friend lists of friends who move in those sort of circles, and found some that might be suitable. NB I've no idea if the owners of the names actually come from such a background, or whether these are given names or online pseudonyms. And a lot of them are perfectly neutral and non-hippyish on their own, but I think add to the overall effect of the list.
Aggie, Amilka, Athel, Bee, Boadicea, Bodric, Brann, Bryony, Cairi, Caper, Cave, Ceiriog, Ceridwen, Coralie, Cormac, Corwen, Dalila, Demelza, Domina, Drika, Edwina, Elenya, Elfed, Elo (almost certainly short for Elowen), Elwyn, Emmerick, Fauve, Flow, Flower, Geraint, Gethin, Gilly (hard /g/ like the flower), Glow, Gorwel, Guinevere, Gwendoline, Havelok, Kaia, Kali, Kest, Leaf, Lotis, Luna, Lynx, Maea, Maia, Matterick, Meirion, Melisande, Memory, Merlin, Merryn, Morgan, Namine, Nephele, Ophir, Pan, Pebbles, Pelin, Persephone, Pixie, Querinna, Reef, Rowen, Rufus, Sage, Sanya, Seraphina, Shade, Somer, Sorrel, Sparrow, Stone, Storm, Tegwen, Telic, Thorn, Tibor, Tristan, Tuesday, Turtle, Velder, Vivacity, Wilfrid, Winnie, Ysanne, Zena, Zenda, Ziggi
I also spotted a few names that were only striking when combined with middle names: Crystal Rose, Joy Flow, Lily Sunrise, Zara Pandora.
Sad times! Hope you get your copy soon :)
Lovely suggestions already - I'll just add Miranda and Sophie.
Oh, and Winston!
I'm very happy you like Clem - it's a favourite of mine too (mainly thanks to The Return of the Native, although that was Clement/Clym).
There are lots of good suggestions already, but here are a few more that sprang to mind:
For more Hardy, perhaps Gabriel, Jude, Giles. Edwin, Roland, Lawrence, Lewis, Wilfrid, Geoffrey. Dickon - yes, it might be teaseworthy, but I know two Dickons who carry it off fine. In fact, one has a brother called Oliver (and another called Reuben, if that's of interest).