The simpering cries of damsels in distress can be found in acres of texts - but not the ones Stylist is looking at in this gallery of literature's strongest female characters.
We're celebrating fiery females of the literary world, from the likes of Astrid Lindgren's precocious Pippi Longstocking and Stieg Larsson's fearless Lisbeth Salander, to Virginia Woolf's quietly determined Mrs Ramsay and Agatha Christie's dignified yet unyielding Miss Marple.
Reminisce over the characters you admired as a child and explore strong women's place in history - from the bawdy Wife of Bath to the wit of Much Ado About Nothing's Beatrice. Which literary female do you most identify with? Flick through the gallery, below, and let us know on Twitter.
Words: Anna Pollitt