Top 10 Female Literary Characters We Love

You might have heard – it’s Women’s History month! Since this year’s theme is Writing Women Back into History, today’s Top 10 will celebrate some of the lovely ladies of literature!

10. Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice. Independent, thoughtful, and courageous, this heroine is a big thing on the literary ‘radar-cy.’
9. Alice from Alice in Wonderland. For her curiosity and charm, Alice is the queen of our hearts.
8. Amelia Bedelia from the Amelia Bedelia series. Her silly way literally made us laugh out loud.
7. Hermione from Harry Potter. Super smarts and terrific talents – it’s hard to say ‘witch’ thing we like better about her.
6. Jane from Jane Eyre. Despite a disadvantaged background, Jane makes a good life for herself, so hear, hear for Eyre!
5. Josephine from Little Women. With her big heart and bold soul, Jo has ‘marched’ her way onto this list.
4. Coraline from Coraline. This little lady takes no nonsense, and we admire her clever, well-intentioned ways.
3. Rosamund from The Tough Princess. She’s nothing but herself, and her confidence cycles circles around our hearts.
2. Nancy Drew from the Nancy Drew series. It’s no mystery why this intelligent and fearless female is one of our favorites.
1. Scarlett from Gone with the Wind. Not only does this lady have an admirable iron will, but she also does dazzling feats with drapery!

Who are your favorite fictional females? Come on, we know you’ve got a few! If you’d like to talk more about your favorite reads, join our GoodReads group!

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  1. jill 03/09/2010 at 11:53 am #

    Petra from Ender’s Game — one tough little woman!

    Harriet from Harriet the Spy — classic!

    Elphaba in Wicked — so much more badass than the Broadway version!

  2. hilary 03/09/2010 at 12:07 pm #

    Pippi Longstocking!

  3. Victoria aka Justice Pirate 03/09/2010 at 12:26 pm #

    Oh goodness I’ve read so many of those books with those characters in it. I never heard of the Tough Princess though. I’ll have to look into that. Thank you for letting us know of this list. I still have to read Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice. one day soon. Gone with the Wind is my favourite book! 😉 Otherwise other than the three on this list, i’ve read all these books. amazing considering I’ve only been a reader for two and a half years..

    I think I need to read more fiction books so I can answer your question. I am much more of a biography person. Now for the favourite males from books list to make, right??

  4. Rachel 03/09/2010 at 1:23 pm #

    *Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (and Through the Looking Glass)

  5. Emily 03/09/2010 at 1:46 pm #

    I’ve read almost all of those books and all those wonderful ladies are worth mentioning! When I was younger I dreamed of being like every one of them, and some of those dreams I still have.

  6. Alicia L. (ModCloth) 03/09/2010 at 2:29 pm #


  7. n 03/09/2010 at 4:09 pm #

    Frances the badger. She made me want a real china tea set for many, many years.

  8. Rachel 03/09/2010 at 4:39 pm #

    Kind of random, but I LOVE Katherine Forrester from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Small Rain.
    (I think she writes some of the best ladies into her fiction, but Katherine happens to be my favorite.)

  9. Katharine Ellis Tapley 03/09/2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Thanks for the idea! Don’t worry, I linked to you.

    Excellent choices, by the way.

  10. Hannah (ModCloth) 03/09/2010 at 6:00 pm #

    So many good ones you’re all mentioning! Sad they couldn’t all fit in.

    Katharine – glad to be an inspiration! I’ll have to look into “The Thirteenth Tale”. Thanks for the shout out 🙂

  11. Ratana 03/09/2010 at 6:37 pm #

    I love love Lyra from His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman. She is resourceful, clever and tragically has faults, which serve to make her real.

  12. Kate 03/09/2010 at 7:19 pm #

    Thank you for giving Coraline some love.

  13. Meryl 03/09/2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Sabriel & Lirael from Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy. Such strong and realistically written young women in fantasy are rare. I also second Ratana’s nomination of Phillip Pullman’s Lyra, who is a great character.

  14. Kate 03/09/2010 at 8:46 pm #

    I have to say that I still adore all of Tamora Pierce’s heroines. I read almost all of her books growing up, and all of the girls/women she writes about are strong, capable, independent, unashamed to be women, and yet flawed. I am so glad I had those characters as models.

  15. Ariel 03/09/2010 at 9:19 pm #

    Carolina “Nine” Livingston from the novel Teach Me By RA Nelson. She goes to crazy lengths to find out the truth about things and is a very intelligent girl. (read the book its fantastic)

  16. Mailin 03/09/2010 at 9:28 pm #

    I personally like Chariton from Gillian Bradshaw’s The Beacon at Alexandria, Viola from W Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, and Jeanette Wall from The Glass Castle. The first book is a historical fiction, the second is well, shakespeare, and the third is a memoir. All feature incredibly strong and resourceful women (and they all live happily ever after), to a degree.

  17. Catarina 03/10/2010 at 5:00 am #

    So many great characters but you’ve got two of my all time favourite characters there – Lizzie Bennett from Pride and Prejudice and Jo from Little Women. Two strong, beautiful role models that continue to have a profound effect on me and will have a place in my heart forever x

  18. Emily B 03/10/2010 at 12:51 pm #

    Why, you’ve forgotten Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables! I adore her!

  19. Estie 03/10/2010 at 9:26 pm #

    Rosalind from As You Like It!

  20. Kit 03/10/2010 at 11:10 pm #

    Laura from’The Little House’ series!! She was a very strong, determined women. Any of her 3 sisters or mother could be included as well.

  21. Sara 03/12/2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Dagny Taggart – Atlas Shrugged

    Anne of Green Gables of Course!!!!

  22. Chantel 03/25/2010 at 2:30 am #

    These are all great! A few other literary women I personally love are: Kahlan from the Sword of Truth series, Catherine from Wuthering Heights, Alanna from the Song of the Lioness quartet, Becky for the Shopaholic series, Anne from Anne of Green Gables, Rose from Eight Cousins, and Leslie from Bridge to Tarabithea.

  23. Katharine Ellis Tapley 04/01/2010 at 10:02 am #

    My entire list. What do you think?

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