Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Literature's finest anti-heroines

We all love a literary villain, but certain fictional females occupy a grey area between good and bad. These flawed, complicated individuals are non-conformists who refuse to bend to expected rules of behaviour.

Pliant and mild are not this lot's bag; they're a rebellious and impulsive bunch with a penchant for the unexpected. Not so much bad as misunderstood, they're by turn ambitious, subversive, bold and manipulative with a need to stand out from the crowd.

And we admire and respect them for it, even if we don't always approve of their methods (Lady Macbeth, we're looking at you). We're also acutely aware of the way that they are victimised for pushing the boundaries of convention and standing up in what they believe in (Anna Karenina is a case in point).

So come give a toast to the fickle nature of humanity, as you parade through our anti-heroine hall of fame:

Related

vegan-hero-2.jpg

Top 10 vegan, gluten-free and lactose-free restaurants‏

hero-use-this-now.jpg

How to overcome self-doubt: motivational quotes, tips and advice

capirinha-hero.jpg

25 delicious summer cocktail recipes

true-romance.jpg

Unusual wedding poetry and readings: beautiful, moving and unique verses for your big day

untitled-8.jpg

The top 10 most gruesome, creepy and revolting cakes of the internet

hero-1.jpg

10 of the best alfresco London restaurants and drinking spots

Comments

More

The Girl on the Train author, Paula Hawkins, is back with second book

In a Stylist.co.uk exclusive, here's everything you need to know

by Sarah Biddlecombe
29 Nov 2016

You can now spend the night in the world's first library hotel

Why not cosy up in your own book nook?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
29 Nov 2016

You can now read Jane Eyre in Charlotte Brontë’s own handwriting

A luxury edition of Brontë’s original manuscript has been reprinted.

by Moya Crockett
28 Nov 2016

Mary Berry to meet with ‘civilised’ bookworms who shun #BlackFriday

Forget #BlackFriday; Mary Berry is all about #CivilisedSaturday

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Nov 2016

10 beautiful books to buy as Christmas presents this season

by Scarlett Cayford
24 Nov 2016

JK Rowling sends Harry Potter books to girl living in war-torn Aleppo

A little bit of magic in a dark world

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Nov 2016

Mouthwatering books about food to uplift and inspire

Delicious reads to whet your appetite...

by Scarlett Cayford
24 Nov 2016

Female writers are totally dominating at this year’s Costa book awards

From Kate Tempest to Rose Tremain and Maggie O'Farrell.

by Moya Crockett
23 Nov 2016

Hillary Clinton seeks solace in a trip to the bookstore

She's just like us.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
23 Nov 2016

Zadie Smith’s epic response when asked how she'd juggle work and kids

It’s official; Zadie Smith is our hero

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Nov 2016