Tuesday 24 February 2015

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's prompt is favourite heroines.

A heroine is (according to the freedictionary)

"a woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for her brave deeds and noble qualities."

On that basis, I begin with....

10. Scarlet O'Hara from Gone With the Wind.

A little controversial I know.

Let's face it - Scarlet is not the nicest person. She's selfish, manipulative and careless with other people's feelings, but, damn it Rhett! She's strong and feisty and she never gives up. She gets the job done - even the nasty jobs.

Scarlett has courage to spare and oodles of ability, unfortunately though she falls down in the admirable & noble department. But flawed literary heroines are always far more interesting!

9. Ophelia from Ophelia and the Marvellous Boy By Karen Foxlee.

Ophelia is not your usual heroine.
She's a worrier, she has asthma, wears glasses & tends to be somewhat clumsy. But like, Scarlet, when push comes to shove, she does what has to be done. But Ophelia does it with heart, stoicism and logic. She is courageous but doesn't know it.

8. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery.

What courage! What bravery!
To survive being orphaned & sent to live with strangers, yet to go in the hope of finding kindred spirits & kindness! Anne's determination to see the best in everyone meant that she eventually found the best in everyone.
She always learnt from her mistakes & she always soldiered on, even when in the throes of despair. Anne's generosity and loving kindness are noble qualities that this world needs more of.

7. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Strength, intelligence, determination, courage, independence and the ability to use a bow and arrow make Katniss a heroine in my eyes! Although she could use a little of Anne's loving kindness at times, Katniss makes huge personal sacrifices for those she loves. She is protective & pro-active with an unconscious charisma.

6. Janie from Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston.

Janie is a passionate woman who knows that she deserves to be loved well. She's a woman who refuses to settle for second best & even though her ideas of good loving are not necessarily mine, Janie knew what she wanted and she set out to get it. 
She showed determination & was prepared to go against popular opinion for something she believed in. Janie also knew when it was time to walk away.

5. Phyrne Fisher by Kerry Greenwood.

Smart, sassy, sexy. Phryne is a private eye based in Melbourne durng the 30's. She drives a sports car, can fly a plane and she know how to use a gun. She has many lovers and many more flirtations.
Phyrne is fun in a liberated, easy-going way.

4. Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear.

Maisie is a British version of Phryne.
However Maisie is more hard-working, very conscious of her working class background and focused on the psychology behind a crime.
Maisie's past (as a nurse in WW1) has a stronger influence on her than she cares to admit & she finds it hard to commit to love. But like my other favourite heroines, she refuses to give up or give in.

3. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

Not an obvious choice for heroine as Lisbeth's good qualities are well-hidden to most people. But she is brave and courageous if not always noble or admirable. She's also very smart and very determined.
Considering the childhood she had, Lisbeth was never going to be a sunny Anne of Green Gables type. But she has guts & grit galore & lots of interesting flaws!

2. Scout from To Kill A Mockingbird.

How can we not admire young Scout?
She is willing to stand up for the underdog & prepared to question the way things are always done. Scout is curious, physically active and smart. She is kind-hearted, opinionated and willing to learn from her mistakes. She is careful but not fearful.

1. Most of Jane Austen's lead characters, but especially Elinor Dashwood, Elizabeth Bennet & Anne Elliot.

Yes! Anne Elliot.
A woman who learns from her mistakes, who learns to stand up for herself & to go after what she wants despite familial disapproval is a heroine in my eyes.  Also a woman who learns to overcome her natural shyness and to trust in her own abilities is worthy of my admiration.
Anne embodies patience, tolerance and thoughfulness. And she is someone who gets better with age.
Anne is a mature woman who fits beautifully inside her own skin.

Who are your favourite literary heroines?


  1. Great list! I didn't think of Scout but she is a great choice! :)

  2. If I could be any of these, I'd love to be Anne of Green Gables. Always upbeat. In fact, I will choose today to be inspired by her example.

    Thank you!

    Here's mine!

  3. Anne gets my vote every time!

  4. The Anne of Green Gables series was one of my favorites growing up. I loved exploring the time period and Anne was such a wonderful character. Great list!

    1. Anne's positivity & ability to find friends wherever she goes are very admirable qualities.

  5. I really like Katniss and Scout. I thought Anne didn't have a personality (I just finished Persuasion) and I liked Elizabeth, but I was more interested in Darcy, lol.

    1. Anne has hidden depths & qualities that reveal themselves with rereads.
      Austen subtly exposes Anne's strength of character via comparison :-)

      Curiously Darcy has never been my ideal male Austen hero - I've always preferred Mr Knightley and Captain Wentworth * sigh*

  6. I have Scarlett, Maisie, and Phryne too. I don't know anyone else who reads Phryne. Hope you'll come see the rest of my list.

    1. I've read about half the Phyrne books; some are a bit hit or miss. But the good ones are great fun and keep me working my way through the series :-)

  7. Scout is a great choice! I totally agree that all of Austen's leading ladies could have made this list! I love her heroines, they are so witty and independent. I loved Persuasion.
    Thanks for stopping by The Local Muse

  8. Oh, just catching up with this one Brona. I like these Tuesday challenges but so rarely do them. I'm completely with you on a few - Phryne and most of Jane Austen's lead characters that's for sure.


    1. I'm having trouble keeping with anything at the moment - a quick, fun meme keeps my hand in 'til I can get on top of things again :-)

  9. Janie, Lisbeth, Scarlet, so many fantastic characters! Anne Elliot is my favorite Austen heroine as well. Her story is beautiful and she becomes such a strong woman.

    1. Being a reformed (?) shy, reserved person myself, I appreciate Anne's effort to overcome her natural quiet tendencies. Learning that rocking the boat & standing up for yourself are actually good things to do sometimes is not easy for introverts!

      The mistake that many people make though, is assuming that shyness equals weakness, but just like Anne, we introverts are actually made of steel on the inside! I also think that Anne is incredibly strong and brave, but many reviews I read don't see her that way.
      I should have known you would be an Anne fan too :-)


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