Every week the lovely people at The Broke and The Bookish conjure up a topic for book bloggers to write their top ten list on and this week has a very feminine focus as we discuss the leading literary ladies.
I have specifically chosen prominent heroines, rather than favourite female characters, and by this I mean characters who lead or contribute to the main narrative of the tale – in this game, it’s all about the specifics! I’ve tried to think up some more contemporary examples but I do love the drama of a classic so there is a mix and, I’m hoping, a couple of not so obvious ones!
So without further ado… here come the girls!
1 Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
She has been and always will be my top female character of all time –strong, sarcastic, witty and wonderful, there’s no beating Lizzie Bennet!
2 Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games trilogy
A flawed but focused fighter, Katniss acts selflessly in order to save and protect her friends and family. She is a survivor and a strong female lead at that.
3 Anne Shirley from LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables
There’s no one quite like Anne! She has a wild and overactive imagination that finds the beauty in the benign.
4 Petrova Fossil from Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes
When her sisters are excelling in the world of the arts, Patrova sticks to her tomboy guns and looks to planes and engineering – be who you want to be middle Fossil!
5 Hermione Granger from J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series
The brains of the operation! Hermione is always on hand to think outside the box, to combine magic with logic in an effortless manner and call the boys up on their idiotic behaviour!
6 Jane Eyre from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
Orphaned at a young age, Jane becomes a self-reliant and independent creature whose witty banter with her employer, Mr Rochester, leads to one of the most complex literary relationships of all time!
7 Lyra Belacqua from Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy
Lyra is the plucky and incredibly bright heroine of Pullman’s epic trilogy who acts to save the ones she loves as well as two worlds – ooh she’s a busy little thing!
8 Josephine March from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women series
As a book-loving tomboy, I grew up utterly adoring Jo March! She doesn’t accept society’s expectations of womanhood and definitely marches to the beat of her own dramatic drum – go Jo! – yet to this day a huge part of me dies every time she turns down Laurie…
9 Beatrice from William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing
I know this is technically a play rather than a novel but Beatrice is too good a character not to include! She is force to be reckoned with, a tough cookie with a vulnerable centre and a soft spot for her comedic sparring partner Benedick.
10 Coraline Jones from Neil Gaiman’s Coraline
A heroine wrapped up in the guise of a little girl, Coraline is wonderfully resourceful and quick witted. She saves the day but no one blinks an eye – at least we know how awesome she is!