A while back someone shared a question in a group I’m part of. And we all talked about feisty old women in fiction, and this list was born. It’s another book list, but it’s not a long one, and the old ladies are not always the hero of the piece. Some of them are arguably not that old. But it’s a fun list, spanning many genres with one thing in common: they all inspire us with thoughts of what is yet to come.
In no particular order:
- Cordelia Vorkosigan in Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, by Lois McMaster Bujold
- Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
- Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg, characters in Terry Pratchett’s books
- Miss Marple in many of Agatha Christie’s books
- Mrs Pollifax, the grandmother who became a spy, by Dorothy Gilman
- Miss Pickerell by Ellen McGregor
- Nathan Lowell’s Tanyth Fairport adventures
- Ista in Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold
- The Gaeneviad, a webcomic starring a stalwart old woman.
- Maureen Johnson Smith Long, from Robert Heinlein’s books (To Sail Beyond the Sunset).
- Neil Gaiman’s Chivalry
- Raven’s Shadow by Patricia Briggs
- Elizabeth Moon’s Remnant Population
- Miss Seeton series by Heron Carvic
- Rolling Stones, by Robert Heinlein – Hazel Stone is the best!
- Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
- Em Talon in Ride the Dark Trail by Louis L’Amour
- Elizabeth Moon’s Winning Colors
- Three women in Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
- Mrs ‘Arris goes to Paris by Paul Gallico
- Miss Melville Regrets by Evelyn Smith
- Agatha Raisin by MC Beaton
- Mrs Pargeter Series by Simon Brett
- Eugenia Potter by Nancy Pickard
- Rosie Lee in Aunty Lee mysteries by Ovidia Yu (These are delightful and will make you hungry)
Feel free to add your favorite little old ladies who just won’t quit in the comments!
7 thoughts on “Fierce Old Women Book List”
Some nice characters listed. 🙂
Savil from Lackey’s Last Herald Mage series. (she even comes back as a Companion in a later book with most of her personality intact.)
Miss Pickerell, yes! (Some of my favorite books as a young boy…)
To add three – Cecilia, Marta, and Venezia by Elizabeth Moon. (in “Winning Colors,” those three running rings around the youngsters were some of the best scenes).
BTW, the linked pages for Pixie for Hire Series and Vulcan’s Kittens (on the upper left) don’t include the later books.
Thanks for letting me know, Chuck.
Aunts in Green Gables, Tom Sawyer, Pollyanna…
I see the list has grown; it’s triggering fond memories for me…
I think everyone has a favorite fierce old woman in literature – and maybe in real life? (I had no aunts, and only knew one grandmother, who spoiled the only grandson absolutely rotten. But my mom made up for the lack as she aged…).
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