Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

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:



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


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


25 delicious summer cocktail recipes


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


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


10 of the best alfresco London restaurants and drinking spots



The winner of the 2016 Man Booker Prize has been revealed

This author broke records to scoop the hottest literary prize of the year

by Francesca Brown
26 Oct 2016

Disney’s latest film project is big news for bookworms everywhere

What the Dickens?

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Roald Dahl and Bake Off collide to make 5 amazing recipes

Forget Bake Off – it’s time for Quentin Blake-Off

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

Meet Jessika M., the queen of serial killer collectors

What makes a woman collect gruesome true crime memorabilia, from knives to letters and locks of hair?

by Moya Crockett
25 Oct 2016

Harry Potter fans, there's a real-life Hogwarts - and you can attend

Excuse us, we’re just heading to Diagon Alley for school supplies…

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Oct 2016

Harry Potter fans, there's a Roald Dahl collaboration in the works

Are you ready for a magical Willy Wonka prequel?

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Sarah Jessica Parker is launching a new line of fiction books

She’s channelling her inner Carrie Bradshaw…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

New Ladybird books for grown-ups are all our work woes

Old pics, new problems

by Anna Pollitt
18 Oct 2016

These are the UK’s favourite pearls of Winnie-the-Pooh wisdom

He’s far more than a bear of very little brain, you know.

by Moya Crockett
14 Oct 2016

Bridget Jones's author on life, love and the importance of friendship

“No one can have it all”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Oct 2016