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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:

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