My Favorite Heroines in Literature

toptentuesday Top Ten Tuesday is organized by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic—favorite heroines—gave me a good reason to browse my bookshelves. Here are the women, young and old, who I have admired most:

  1. Anne Elliot (Persuasion)—quiet, steadfast, and completely deserving of her happy ending
  2. Jo March (Little Women)—strong-minded and independent
  3. Laura Ingalls (the Little House series)—curious and fearless
  4. Hermione (no last name necessary)—Is there a better role model for a girl? And the person who plays her in the movies isn’t bad either…
  5. Jane Eyre—complex, self-reliant, and passionate
  6. Thursday Next (the Thursday Next series)—seeing how she is responsible for preserving the original Jane Eyre manuscript, I couldn’t leave her off this list
  7. Idgie (Fried Green Tomatoes)—everyone needs a friend like Idgie
  8. Miss Marple—no one can fool her!
  9. Eva Luna (by Isabel Allende)—one of the most imaginative storytellers
  10. Anne of Green Gables—whenever my mom told me to “use my imagination,” I thought of Anne


  1. It turns out I don’t read about many great heroines! Why is that?
    I should look for more women of courage and self-sacrifice this year in my books.
    Here are a few I did meet in 2014:
    Lucy Snow ( Villette)
    Hester Prynne ( Scarlet Letter)
    Rebecca ( Ivanhoe)

  2. A great list of heroines, I don’t think I could come up with a fictional list, when I think of great female characters, the ones that come to mind are real, like Josephine Bonaparte in Sandra Gulland’s novels and Wangari Maathai because I just read her autobiography.

  3. This is a great list! All my favourites are included, plus a couple I hadn’t thought of because it’s been so long since reading the book (Anne Elliot and Idgie). I’ve never read Eva Luna – I will have to go look that one up!

  4. That’s a great selection, Jane Eyre would be near the top of my list too – I love her combination of intelligence, perception and resilience. Alice (from the Lewis Carroll books) would be right up there as well.

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