The Women of Literature, parts 6-10

No, it isn’t a list of my favourite female writers.

Now that I’ve clickbaited you in, here is my top ten list of the hottest female characters from fiction – because I may be a chauvinistic man, but I read books, you know!

I make no apologies if some or all of these are male-fantasy figures. Fuck your political correctness.


10.Katje Borgesius (Gravity’s Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon)

Pynchon has created many memorable females in his lengthy career, of which none are more memorable than the pretty Dutch girl who definitely has a dark side. After being employed as a Dominatrix by Nazi rocket engineers, she is “liberated” only to find out the British and Americans are just as fucked up.


9.Irene Adler (Sherlock Holmes: A Scandal in Bohemia, by Arthur Conan Doyle, among others)

Being the only female to have ever bettered the world’s greatest detective and captured his heart, Irene is simply known as “The Woman” by Holmes in the stories. Memorably portrayed on screen by Lara Pulver and Rachel McAdams, among others.

Lara Pulver, seen here wearing clothes


8.The Demoiselle D’Ys / Rue Barrée”(From The King In Yellow, by Robert W. Chambers)

As I couldn’t pick between the two of these, I have included both as they arguably represent aspects of the same ghostly and unknowable character. Rue Barrée” is as good as any representation of the desirable femme fatale who can never be attained – and probably never should be. And all in a “dumb ghost story”.


7.Princess Evaleigh (from Greyhawk, Saga of Old City, by Gary Gygax)

Everybody knows Gygax was the original creator of Dungeons & Dragons and tabletop gaming nerd, who probably never got laid, right? So how did he manage to write such a captivating character as the elven princess rescued from a tower in the first book in the original fantasy adventure series?? Is she just a trope, a damsel in distress who needs to be rescued? Yes. Is there anything wrong with that? Some people would say not. I would say read the book.


6.Lady Susan (from Lady Susan, by Jane Austen)

As one of the few characters on this list written by a woman, Lady Susan ironically may be the nastiest and most manipulative character here. That’s as it should be – characters in fiction have to be allowed to be flawed, nasty, good, bad and downright ugly. Feminism has created far too many Mary Sue characters who aren’t allowed to have any flaws – which, ironically, destroys the possibility of ever getting proper well-rounded females in fiction.

Lady Susan was memorably played on screen by Kate Beckinsale in Whit Stillman’s film of the Short Story, retitled as Love & Friendship.


Parts 5-1 coming next week or when I think of it

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