Top Ten Tuesdays: Mean girls in books

The Top Ten Tuesdays meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Please visit the host site and click on some of the submitted links for more mean girls.

They are the characters who can be the source of anything from minor twists to major plot complications. They are the bitches we love to hate, the women who can't help being nasty, the meanies who make life interesting and unpleasant for the protagonists, the wicked, the spiteful, and often the most memorable characters in literature: The Mean Girls.

Jane Austen wrote some very realistic mean girls, including:

  • Fannie (Mrs. John) Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility,
  • Maria Bertram from Mansfield Park, and
  • Caroline Bingley from Pride and Prejudice
Other mean girls and women I'd like to slap around:
  • Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  • Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. (love her or hate her, you must admit she is both mean and spiteful at times)
  • The Snow Queen from H.C. Andersen’s novella, “The Snow Queen” and her literary descendant:
  • The White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Lady Macbeth from Shakespeare’s Macbeth
  • The Marquise de Merteuil from Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (she should be at the top of the list)
  • Milady De Winter from The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (although ultimately a pathetic character, wholly controlled by her passions, she is neverhteless an archetypal mean girl)

BTW, I am reading Rebecca and I think Mrs. Danvers is shaping up to be a massive bitch.


Sophia said…
I agree about Jane Austen, she wrote a very good bitch. I put Isabella Thorpe on my list but could equally have chosen any of the others. Nice list :-)
Karen said…
ha ha, you are right about Mrs Danvers. She made my list, lol.

Loved your list. The Snow Queen is my favourite fairy tale.
Trish said…
Good choices. Mine are mostly from classics as well. And, yes, Mrs Danvers made my list of bitchy women.
George said…
I agree with you: the Marquise de Merteuil from Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos should be at the top of the list. Madame Merle from PORTRAIT OF A LADY should be on this list, too.
Lisa said…
Dolores made my list too. I hated how she tried to get complete power over everything and everyone. Scarlett was a mean one, but she still holds a place in my heart.
You listed good!

Check out my bad girls in my Top Ten post!
LibrarySnake said…
Oh, Mrs. Danvers is absolutely a bitch. Just wait and see.

Here's mine:
Reading Rachel said…
Fantastic list! The Marquise de Merteuil is definitely worthy of the top of the list.

Rachel-Endless Reading
Yvette said…
Mrs. Danvers and Lady MacBeth made my list too. I forgot about Milady De Winter and the Marquise de Merteuil. Two very nasty types. Though ultimately pathetic. Not that excuses their nastiness.
Dani said…
Yes! Jane Austen has so many mean girls in her books, it was hard to choose just one for my list. I like your choices of the White Witch and Milady de Winter as well.
La Coccinelle said…
This is actually the first time I've seen the Marquise de Merteuil on a list... but you're right. (Darn it... now I wish I'd put her on my list!)
When I read your post, the first one that came to mind was Mrs. Danvers, so, good call!

Agree with Lady Macbeth (duh), Umbridge and Bingley as well. I'd add Lestrange from the Harry Potter universe as well. Oh, and Cruella from 101 Dalmations. Actually, there's loads of good shouts from the Disney world.
Bibliophile said…
I left Bellatrix Lestrange out because she is so obviously insane. I am hoping there will be a future list of the "best" crazy villains, where she will be very near to top of my list.

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