Edith/Maddie here, with our second Wicked Wednesday celebrating the ladies who went before.
Last week we talked about real-life impressive woman from 1950 or before. Today let’s list impressive fictional heroines from books set in the past. Who is your favorite historical female protagonist, and why?
Julie: I am so glad I get to answer this first! Hands down, Amelia Peabody. Who’s with me? I ADORE the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters, who was really Barbara Mertz, an Egyptologist. The books start in 1884, and the series ends in 1922-23, during the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. The series has romance, adventure, history, Egyptology, and wonderful characters. Amelia Peabody was partially inspired by real life 1880’s explorer Amelia Edwards, and she’s a funny, fierce, smart and stubborn. I’ve read the series a couple of times, and listened to it a couple of more and can’t recommend it highly enough.
Edith/Maddie: Amelia is fabulous, Julie. I started reading those books because of you! I’m voting for Elizabeth Miles, the con artist in Victoria Thompson’s Counterfeit Lady series. I absolutely love that Elizabeth still runs the occasional Robin Hood con with her father even while doing her best to live a conventional life with her new husband in 1920 New York. She’s a true badass.
Barb: I have to go with my pandemic-related Outlander obsession here and say Claire Fraser. Whether it’s in the modern story, where Claire was born in 1918, or in the time-traveling one, where she lives in the 18th century, she qualifies. World War II combat nurse, triage healer at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745, settler in the western reaches of 18th century North Carolina, or female surgeon in Boston in the 1960s, all make her heroic.
Jessie: I am going to vote for Tuppence Beresford from the Agatha Christie novels. We share a love of hats and I adore her sense of adventure. I also love the way Christie shows her to the reader at different stages in her life, from a Bright Young Thing to a young wife and mother to a middle-aged woman. In many ways I think of her as the person Christie created who feels the
Sherry: I love reading about everyone’s fictional heroines. I have to go with my often mention beloved Betsy Ray from the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. The books start when Betsy is five and continue through her marriage with each book being age appropriate to the reading level of her age. Betsy taught me that it’s okay to blush easily, have weak ankles, scatter commas around, love to read, and to purse a dream of being a writer. She valued friendships and family, loved a man, but also was brave enough to sail around the world when her heart was broken. While she might not be a modern day version of a badass she definitely was for her time.
Readers: Who is your historical fictional heroine?