Wonder Women

To mark International Women's Day, we take a look at inspirational female characters who have overcome adversity

The Wife of Bath

The Canterbury Tales (1478) by Geoffrey Chaucer

Few people realise that Chaucer's work was not only incredibly funny but forward-thinking. The Wife of Bath is one of his best female characters, with a prologue twice as long as her actual tale. Though she loves making dirty jokes, she's also an incredibly strong character, insisting on female power and the right to control her own body.

Tess Durbeyfield

Tess of the D’Ubervilles (1891) by Thomas Hardy

Tess is faced with misfortune and injustice at every turn, and yet she never stops striving for a better life and to be with her love, Angel.

Listen to the book here: audiobook

Nanny Ogg

Mort (1987) by Terry Pratchett

The ultimate matriarch, Nanny oversees the Ogg clan and she has truly seen it all. A great beauty when she was younger, her face now tells the story of her wisdom and she has a razor sharp mind.

The Narrator

Swing Time (2016) by Zadie Smith

Though she is never named, the narrator of Zadie Smith's fifth novel overcomes her humble beginnings to become the assistant to a pop star, travelling the world. 'Swing Time' is all about the power of reinvention and powerful women.

Lucy Pevensie

The Chronicles of Narnia (1950) by C S Lewis

Lucy overcomes being the youngest and most often ignored of the Pevensie children, not to mention various perils, to ultimately be crowned Queen Lucy the Valiant. She's noble and brave, demonstrating that brilliant things come in small packages.

Feature Image Copyright Wonder Woman artwork CC Nathan Rupert