The UK’s favourite 15 literary heroines


The list below is from a survey of the UK’s top 15 favourite literary heroines. I admit I have a weakness for book lists, perhaps it’s my book trade background. This list doesn’t really have any surprises, light-hearted but worth perusing. Sadly no heroines from the Long Victorian pens of George Eliot, Wilkie Collins or Elizabeth Gaskell (nor any J. K. Rowling?!). This despite the fact that the works of all three authors have never stopped selling and each has had multiple TV/film versions put out.

Just a theory but I suspect The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins) suffers from the fact that the wit, bravery and intelligence has been given to one half sister (Marian Halcombe) and the glamour, money and happy marital ending to the other (Laura Fairlie).

Good list? Are they in the right order for you? Any missing favourite heroines?

So here they are – the UK’s top 15 favourite literary heroines (a survey of 1,000 UK adults funded by 20th Century Fox – reported, October 2015).

No. 15. Emma from Emma (1815) by Jane Austen

Emma by flominowa.deviantart.com_18

No.14. Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair (1848) by William Makepeace Thackeray

Becky Sharp_18

No.13. Bathsheba Everdene from Far From the Madding Crowd (1874) by Thomas Hardy

Bathsheba Everdene from the Warner Archive_18

No.12. Daisy Buchanan from The Great Gatsby (1925) by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Daisy Buchanan by stastro_18

No.11. Anna Karenina from Anna Karenina (1877) by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina_18

No.10. Galadriel from The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings (1937) by J. R. R. Tolkien

Galadriel portrait, sketch by Pika-la-Cynique (Hobbit)_18

No.9. Catherine Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights (1847) by Emily Bronte

catherine earnshaw_18

No.8. Tess d’Urberville from Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy


No.7. Arwen from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (first published 1954) by J. R. R Tolkien


No.6. Eponine from Les Miserables (1862) – by Victor Hugo


No.5. Jo March from Little Women (1880) by Louisa May Alcott

Jo March_18

No.4. Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind (1936) by Margaret Mitchell


No.3. Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre – (1847) by Charlotte Bronte

Jane Eyre_18

No.2. Miss Marple from Miss Marple – (1927) by Agatha Christie


Yes, I think you knew it would be number 1 !!

No.1. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride & Prejudice (1813) by Jane Austen



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