Middlemarch Madness: Prologue

While chatting in email with Meghan, we stumbled upon an idea we think you’ll love as much as we do.   March is the month of brackets, as everyone who loves basketball, cake or pie knows.  As we lean more towards bookish than sporty and we have a collective unconditional love of all desserts, we’re trying something different.

Middlemarch Madness.

It’s lady heroine against lady heroine as we pit all of our favorite literary women against each other in a bracket challenge to the death.  Okay, not to the death, just to the champion.   Can Katniss destroy Jo March?  Will Shakespeare’s Kate topple Tolkien’s Eowyn?   It’s up to you, readers.

At this stage, we’re gathering a pool of contenders which we’ll narrow down to a list of 64 finalists.   We’ve brainstormed amongst ourselves and come up with the list below, and now we need your help to fill it out.  We want all the best women from all your favorite books, from YA fiction to sci-fi to fantasy to chick lit to classics and everything in between.  We’re looking for ladies with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, so help us make sure our final list is racially and culturally diverse.

We’ll be needing your help when we’ve narrowed the field down to the final 64 to prepare brief bios on all the contenders.  In the meantime, feel free to use this and upcoming discussion posts and the forums to campaign for your favorites to make it to the finals.

Here’s who we’ve brainstormed so far. The interns, Meghan and I will keep this post updated with your suggestions, so bookmark this post and check back to see new additions.

Hermione Granger
Katniss Everdeen
Meg Murray
Vicky Austin
Jo March
Harriet the Spy
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird
Frankie Addams from The Member of the Wedding
Eowyn
Nancy Drew
Portia from The Merchant of Venice
Dina Dalal from A  Fine Balance
Susan and Lucy Pevensie
Claudia Kincaid from The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler
Celie from The Color Purple
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Dorothy Gale
Alanna from Tamora Pierce’s novels
Rosalind from As You Like It
Kate from The Taming of the Shrew
Hester Prynne
Nora from A Doll’s House
Alice from Alice in Wonderland
Sethe from Beloved
Karin Murphy from The Dresden Files
Beatrix Potter (that one’s from Sara B and she said she knows she’s a writer and not a character but she had a badass life)
Ayla from the Earth’s Children series
Janelle from Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels series
Morgaine and Viviane from The Mists of Avalon
Scarlett O’Hara
Anita Blake
Liath from Kate Elliot’s Crown of Stars books
Rachel Morgan from the Hollows series
Nynaeve, Egwene, Aviendha, and Elayne from the Wheel of Time series (at points in the series, they got more awesome when Brandon Sanderson picked up the series)
Tarma and Kethry, Kerowyn, and Elspeth from Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar books
Harry from The Blue Sword
Aerin from The Hero and the Crown
Paksenarrion
Alanna (or really anyone) from the Tamora Pierce books
Katsa from Graceling
Viola from the Chaos Walking trilogy
Jenna/Skada from Jane Yolen’s Sister Light Sister Dark trilogy
Cimorene from the Dealing with Dragons books
and I’m somewhat hesitant to suggest her, but Phedre from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel books is a badass, even if she is also a high-priced courtesan.  She’s also a polyglot spy with hand-to-hand combat training.
Turtle Wexler from The Westing Game
Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale
Margaret Simon from Are You There God, it’s Me, Margaret
Ramona Quimby
Lesley from Bridge to Terribithia
Karana from Island of the Blue Dolphins
Melinda from Speak
Fran from The Stand
Carrie White – you can not deny that Carrie is badass.  She was the River Tam of the late 1970’s.
Lily Bart from  The House Of Mirth
Irene Adler from A Study In Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes)
Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair
Lisbeth Salander from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy
Jordan Baker, Myrtle, and Daisy from The Great Gatsby
Pandora, Claudia, Gabrielle, Merrick, Akasha, Maharet, and Mekare from The Vampire Chronicles series
Catherine from Wuthering Heights
Claire from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series
Ayla from Clan of the Cave Bear
Ophelia
Lady Macbeth
Desdemona
Juliet (the Romeo and Juliet one)
Mulan (there was a book about her! She’s not just Disney)
Jessica “Not So” Darling from Sloppy Firsts

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

47 thoughts on “Middlemarch Madness: Prologue”

  1. 1. I must politely insist on the inclusion of Jane Eyre.
    2. Cassandra Mortmain. Anyone who hasn’t read I Capture the Castle needs a trip to the bookstore stat.
    3. Echoing the above suggestion of Thursday Next. I really like the concept of her character, even if Jasper Fforde’s rendering of the female mind is a wee bit off.

  2. Molly and Charity Carpenter from the Dresden Files! I see Karrin Murphy is already on the list, but I don’t think you can leave Molly and her mom out–especially Charity. She is fully badass.

    Also, this March Madness is an insanely good idea. I am ridiculously excited about it. :)

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