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Quiz: Heroines of Classic Literature

Updated on September 8, 2014

How Much do You know about Heroines of Classic Fiction?

This fun literary quiz will test your knowledge on famous fictional women of the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s. These characters are from the books of famous British, American and French authors (you might even spot a Russian here too).

If you have read these classic novels, this won't be so tough. For those you haven't read, some will be easy to guess and others might be tricky (but the sharp-eyed might find clues elsewhere on the page). Just do your best!

You can also share your opinion on the best classic fictional female character in the poll.

I've added a couple of extra quizzes further down. The second one is probably the easiest and the third one is extra difficult but is there for those who like a challenge. Take one or all of them -- it's up to you!

Quiz 1: Classic Heroines

Heroines of Classic Literature

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Classic Female Characters on the Screen

My Top Picks from English Literature

Discover some wonderful female heroines in these TV and movie productions of novels from British authors of the 18th and 19th century.

My most loved heroines and the actresses who I most enjoyed in the role:

  • Justine Waddell as Tess in Tess of the d'Urbervilles
  • Claire Foy as Amy Dorrit in Little Dorrit
  • Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale in North and South
  • Justine Waddell and Keeley Hawes as Molly Gibson and her stepsister Cynthia in Wives and Daughters
  • Ruth Wilson as Jane Eyre in (you've guessed it!) Jane Eyre

Who is Your Favorite Classic Heroine? - Is it possible to just pick one?

Will everyone opt for Lizzie Bennett or do you have another feisty or tragic heroine in mind?

Decision time! Tell my Your Top Female Heroine...

See results

Classic Female Characters on the Screen - My Top Jane Austen Picks

There have been many interpretations of these much loved Jane Austen novels made for TV and cinema. My own top choices are as follows:

  • Pride and Prejudice 1995 (TV Mini Series) with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle
  • Sense and Sensibility 1995 with Emma Thompson, Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet
  • Persuasion 1995 with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds
  • Emma 2009 with Romola Garai

I didn't know until now that the first 3 were all released in the same year... truly a golden year for Jane Austen fans.


Quiz 2: Classic Novels

Who Wrote That Classic Novel?

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Classic American Female Characters on the Screen

My picks from North American Literature

I'm British so I'm probably more familiar with the heroines of English literature than those of the great American authors. Who else should be on this list? Leave me a note in the Guestbook!

My top fictional female heroines are:

  • Winona Ryder as Jo March in Little Women
  • Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart in The House of Mirth
  • Patricia Arquette as tragic heroine Mattie starring opposite Liam Neeson as the ill-fated Frome in Ethan Frome
  • Megan Follows as the lovable Anne in Anne of Green Gables
  • Michelle Pfeiffer as the outcast Countess Olenska in The Age of Innocence

How do you like your Fictional Heroines? - In a book or on the screen?

How do you prefer to discover classic works?

See results

Quiz 3: Fictional Heroines

A Short Quiz about Fictional Heroines

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OK, time to confess, how did you do with these ladies of literature? I hope you enjoyed this little tribute to them even if it was a challenge!

© 2010 Indigo Janson

First Quiz Results: Do you know your Female Characters of Literature?

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    anonymous 3 years ago

    Not great, I need to brush up on my literature.

  • profile image

    Colin323 3 years ago

    7 out of 10, not bad for a bloke

  • Scindhia H profile image

    Scindhia 3 years ago from Chennai

    50% . It was a Toughie!

  • allys-place profile image

    allys-place 4 years ago

    70% not bad for a Nurse

  • profile image

    sybil watson 4 years ago

    70% - I forgot that Emma killed herself too.

  • LoriBeninger profile image

    LoriBeninger 4 years ago

    70% - not overly pathetic, but close!

  • Cynthia Haltom profile image

    Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

    Yes thanks for the quiz

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @Shadrosky: Never mind, it was a difficult one after all. :)

  • profile image

    Shadrosky 5 years ago


  • profile image

    KyraB 5 years ago

    6/10 and would of got 7/10 if I had thought harder on one question :) That was fun!

  • indigoj profile image

    Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

    @melissiaoliver: Congratulations!

  • melissiaoliver profile image

    melissiaoliver 5 years ago

    10/10! I'm such a bookworm :)

  • profile image

    RuralFloridaLiving 5 years ago

    Just okay - but knew better....

  • profile image

    gradientcat 6 years ago

    I got a 6 out of 10

  • Rangoon House profile image

    AJ 6 years ago from Australia

    Yes, I need to allocate some time to reading. Blessings.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    5 out of 10

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    9 out of 10, shucks!

  • melissiaoliver profile image

    melissiaoliver 6 years ago


  • WilliamPower profile image

    WilliamPower 6 years ago

    I didn't do too well. Must study!

  • compugraphd profile image

    compugraphd 6 years ago


    Not too well (4 of 10) -- I hadn't even heard of many of the books or writers. (I'm not a big fiction reader and, at that, it's mostly sci fi or fantasy)

  • profile image

    ifuturz 6 years ago


  • lovetolink profile image

    lovetolink 6 years ago


  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    not so good

  • oxfordian profile image

    oxfordian 6 years ago

    I missed 2. Yikes! How could I? I just couldn't remember a couple names. My mind is swiss cheese.

  • profile image

    anonymous 6 years ago

    Not too good, only 30%. I need to revise my classics

  • anupma lm profile image

    anupma lm 6 years ago

    scored well and enjoyed.

  • JoyfulReviewer profile image

    JoyfulReviewer 6 years ago

    Not very well, but still had fun.

  • goo2eyes lm profile image

    goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

    i did not know them well

  • dahlia369 profile image

    dahlia369 6 years ago

    Oh, well...

  • profile image

    BlueStarr 6 years ago

    70%... better than I expected :)

  • profile image

    blanckj 6 years ago

    Not so great.

  • verkeerd profile image

    verkeerd 6 years ago

    5 of 10 - time to read some more! Thanks!

  • Diana Wenzel profile image

    Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

    I better go back and do some more reading. Lots of room for improvement!

  • Mishael A Witty profile image

    Mishael A Witty 6 years ago

    Such fun! I did better than I thought I would at first (70%). I guess I need to read more!

  • franstan lm profile image

    franstan lm 6 years ago

    I didn't get a passing grade. Boo Hoo

  • pimbels lm profile image

    pimbels lm 6 years ago

    Not easy.

  • CarynJSwift56889 profile image

    CarynJSwift56889 6 years ago

    that need read a lot~

  • ben186422 profile image

    ben186422 6 years ago

    Difficult for me.

  • Stacy Birch profile image

    Stacy Birch 6 years ago

    I got 90%, okay I picked north and south because it's the only one of her books I knew...Good Lens!

  • profile image

    tssfacts 7 years ago

    Not too good 40%. I must refresh my memories on some of these. Or perhaps I should go back and read them again lol.

  • Blackspaniel1 profile image

    Blackspaniel1 7 years ago

    I had to guess a lot.

  • profile image

    Cardtouche 7 years ago

    Nice quiz - Good job i'm good at guessing!

  • Lemming13 profile image

    Lemming13 7 years ago

    *; quite pleased with myself actually (I only read Elizabeth Gaskell's ghost stories, lol).

  • MTLwordsmith profile image

    MTLwordsmith 7 years ago

    So close. It's tough to keep those old timey ladies straight!

  • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

    MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

    Didn't do so well on the last one but got 100% on the others.

  • Dustbunnyodoom profile image

    Dustbunnyodoom 7 years ago

    80% not too shabby!

  • LadyFlashman profile image

    LadyFlashman 7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Badly!!! Oh dear...

  • greenspirit profile image

    poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

    not as well as I thought

  • paperfacets profile image

    Sherry Venegas 7 years ago from La Verne, CA

    Ha, I was guessing.

  • GardenTravel profile image

    Katherine T 7 years ago from London

    Whoops - it's amazing how much you forget!

  • PaulaMorgan profile image

    Paula Morgan 7 years ago from Sydney Australia

    I got 50% surprisingly there was a couple of guesses

  • Stazjia profile image

    Carol Fisher 7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

    I knew about half of the answers and had lucky guesses with another two. Good quiz.

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    Oopsy! Just as I thought, I couldn't even get lucky by guessing! Great test for the master level folks and humbling for the rest of us!

  • mikerbowman profile image

    mikerbowman 7 years ago

    Eesh... 50%!! The good news is, All the questions got right I actually knew... and all the questions I got wrong, I guessed at. Poorly, it would seem.

  • PaulHassing LM profile image

    Paul Hassing 7 years ago

    I need to do some serious reading! Thank you for the wake-up call! :)

  • Sensitive Fern profile image

    Sensitive Fern 7 years ago

    Eek! And I was an English major. :)

  • MommyArt LM profile image

    MommyArt LM 7 years ago

    70%, I knew all my reading would pay off some day!

  • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

    C A Chancellor 7 years ago from US/TN

    I got 60%, thanks to a couple of lucky guesses.

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago


  • Bus Stop Toy Shop profile image

    Bus Stop Toy Shop 7 years ago

    6 out of 10 - I'm fairly pleased with that - it's a tough quiz!

  • Yourshowman LM profile image

    Yourshowman LM 7 years ago

    Pretty tough. 4/10

  • jdwheeler profile image

    jdwheeler 7 years ago

    It was tough. I guess I didn't listen as close as I thought in lit class!

  • jenms lm profile image

    jenms lm 7 years ago

    8/10 although I haven't read all of those I'm familiar enough with most of them

  • teemu profile image

    teemu 7 years ago

    Darn, I could have had 70% but kept second Guessing myself. only 40% for me...

  • imolaK profile image

    imolaK 7 years ago

    I have to study more.

  • profile image

    SofiaMann 7 years ago

    Clearly, I have to study more.

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    Not so well! It's been a long time since I read the classics and it showed!

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    Too embarrassed to admit my score...let's just say it was atrocious and leave it at that.

  • profile image

    RebeccaE 7 years ago

    well, 5 out of ten isn't bad... I'll try again!

  • Rachel Field profile image

    Rachel Field 7 years ago

    Phew! 7 out of 10! Not too bad.

  • mbgphoto profile image

    Mary Beth Granger 7 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

    50%...need to brush up on my classics.

  • jptanabe profile image

    Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

    OK, I guessed a few. These were harder than I expected!

  • Virginia Allain profile image

    Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

    I was an English major, but my memory must be going. I made a very poor showing on the quiz. Sigh

  • profile image

    anonymous 7 years ago

    I did surprisingly well (for me), managed to get 5/10. A fun quiz and reminded me of some great books that I should read again! Thanks, Kathy

  • justholidays profile image

    justholidays 7 years ago

    Don't know how I did, I got a 6 out of 10! Surprised :)