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

A brief history of period drama’s most iconic scenes of sexual tension

Don’t be fooled by those innocent blushes and curt exchanges, period dramas do sexual tension like no one else

by Charlotte Duck
27 Feb 2017

13 books to read when you’re hating your job

For respite, perspective and escapism

by Scarlett Cayford
24 Feb 2017

The best (and worst) love advice from teen magazines

From dating to dumping, and everything in-between

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Feb 2017

These beautiful libraries are all available to rent on Airbnb

Calling all bookworms...

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Feb 2017

These new words have just been added to the dictionary for 2017

From squad goals to superfruit

by Sarah Biddlecombe
23 Feb 2017

Roxane Gay slams publisher for offering book deal to far-right troll

“Alt-right” internet provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos is not a good guy.

by Moya Crockett
21 Feb 2017

Margaret Atwood has a new warning about The Handmaid’s Tale

“You think you’re a liberal democracy and then – bang – you’re Hitler’s Germany”

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

JK Rowling humiliates Piers Morgan as he falls into her Twitter trap

Talk about fantastic tweets and where to find them…

by Kayleigh Dray
15 Feb 2017

JK Rowling utterly annihilates Piers Morgan for defending Trump

“The downside of sucking up to the biggest bully in school is getting burned alive”

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Feb 2017

The daily writing routine of best-selling author JoJo Moyes

Coffee, people-watching and Scrabble

by Sarah Biddlecombe
10 Feb 2017