The Vilest Woman in Fiction


Julie Harris and James Dean in “East of Eden” (1955)

1

by
4.37 avg rating — 395,567 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.15 avg rating — 442,568 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.22 avg rating — 403,287 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.12 avg rating — 32,197 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
4.06 avg rating — 2,058,990 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.49 avg rating — 2,226,929 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
3.89 avg rating — 615,357 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
3.85 avg rating — 1,210,913 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
9

by
3.81 avg rating — 143,361 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.21 avg rating — 1,948,566 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.03 avg rating — 359,934 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
3.77 avg rating — 601,046 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
3.95 avg rating — 3,176 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
4.45 avg rating — 1,824,555 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
4.25 avg rating — 133,018 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
3.90 avg rating — 166,834 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
3.95 avg rating — 465,023 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.27 avg rating — 49,611 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
19

by
4.30 avg rating — 83,755 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.13 avg rating — 44,388 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.19 avg rating — 587,449 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
3.93 avg rating — 511,470 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
3.85 avg rating — 7,935 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 79,115 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
3.60 avg rating — 26,858 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
3.85 avg rating — 264,483 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
3.91 avg rating — 5,558 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
28

by
3.74 avg rating — 5,556 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.29 avg rating — 1,013,171 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
30

by
4.06 avg rating — 438,143 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
31

by
3.83 avg rating — 760,019 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
32

by
3.81 avg rating — 16,190 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.86 avg rating — 141,832 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
3.72 avg rating — 235 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
35

by
4.03 avg rating — 114,066 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
36

by
3.91 avg rating — 38,411 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.26 avg rating — 6,638 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
4.01 avg rating — 340,890 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
39

by
4.16 avg rating — 625,938 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
3.98 avg rating — 369,593 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
3.83 avg rating — 37,114 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
42

by
3.89 avg rating — 411,566 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.04 avg rating — 606,753 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
44

by
3.80 avg rating — 76 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
45

by
4.07 avg rating — 152,174 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
3.63 avg rating — 204 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
47

by
4.03 avg rating — 13,144 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
3.87 avg rating — 31,342 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
48

by
3.88 avg rating — 9,743 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.11 avg rating — 241,984 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
3.89 avg rating — 225 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
3.99 avg rating — 16,074 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
4.18 avg rating — 279,865 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,127 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.79 avg rating — 1,961 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
4.20 avg rating — 7,094 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.75 avg rating — 306 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.98 avg rating — 333,706 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
3.99 avg rating — 42,172 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
3.60 avg rating — 2,036 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.58 avg rating — 3,388 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
3.30 avg rating — 20,530 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.25 avg rating — 681,972 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.03 avg rating — 2,114,879 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.06 avg rating — 14,201 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.14 avg rating — 24,392 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.94 avg rating — 117,543 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.62 avg rating — 15,150 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.66 avg rating — 11,469 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.76 avg rating — 18,968 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 47 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
3.95 avg rating — 29,140 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.13 avg rating — 10,346 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
4.02 avg rating — 365,074 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
4.18 avg rating — 3,598 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.98 avg rating — 11,280 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.50 avg rating — 1,673 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
3.75 avg rating — 8 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
3.53 avg rating — 32,644 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
3.79 avg rating — 5,369 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
4.31 avg rating — 29 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
79

by
3.55 avg rating — 1,161 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
83

by
4.07 avg rating — 990,233 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
4.67 avg rating — 6 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
84

by
4.31 avg rating — 545,192 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
3.92 avg rating — 7,597 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
86

by
it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
3.53 avg rating — 554,384 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
88

by
4.13 avg rating — 22,390 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
90

by
3.28 avg rating — 29,006 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
91

by
3.52 avg rating — 1,734 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.59 avg rating — 4,704 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.91 avg rating — 77 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
92

by
3.94 avg rating — 12,356 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
95

by
4.13 avg rating — 2,170 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
96

by
3.87 avg rating — 3,321 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
97

by
3.48 avg rating — 229 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
98

by
3.84 avg rating — 55 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
98 books · 89 voters · list created February 19th, 2014 by Bettie (votes) .
Tags: evil, female, fiction
30 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Bettie 15400 books
121 friends
Ellinor 7747 books
433 friends
Lorraine 2103 books
86 friends
Wanda 2487 books
17 friends
Dagny 1979 books
69 friends
Helen 1028 books
57 friends
Erin 1951 books
61 friends
Matthew Pinkus 216 books
24 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-29 of 29 (29 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Awesome list! I love the East of Eden movie picture you included!


message 2: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Dani wrote: "Awesome list! I love the East of Eden movie picture you included!"

Thanks Dani - it is lovely to see some enthusiasm is still left in teh world. Well met!


message 3: by Bettie (new)

Bettie eta - HER (Kate) from East of Eden still beats all other condenders into the ground


message 4: by Danielle (new)

Danielle ☯Bettie☯ wrote: "eta - HER (Kate) from East of Eden still beats all other condenders into the ground"



I agree! She is hands-down the vilest woman in fiction!


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Somehow there's two editions of Armadale by Wilkie Collins on the list.


message 6: by Bettie (new)

Bettie Sarah wrote: "Somehow there's two editions of Armadale by Wilkie Collins on the list."

Thanks Sarah - I've done a duplicate check that should have taken care of the problem.
:O)


message 7: by Sarah (new)

Sarah You're welcome. I just noticed it as I scanned for a fourth book that I'd actually read. I'm now heading to my shelves to search through them and see if anything jogs my memory.


message 8: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie Henderson Ann Boleyn certainly belongs on this list.


message 9: by Katherine (last edited Jan 17, 2016 05:14PM) (new)

Katherine Bettie☯ wrote: "eta - HER (Kate) from East of Eden still beats all other condenders into the ground"

Agreed!

My book group often used to debate this question whenever we encountered a particularly nasty character.... until we read East of Eden. It was then we unanimously decided Cathy/Kate was the most vile female fictional character ever--no contest.


message 10: by Marquise (new)

Marquise Nice list, I haven't met most of these terrifying ladies. :)

I don't agree with placing Amber amongst the vilest, to be honest. This is more a case of a capricious and empty-headed girl rather than an evil one. And neither do I agree with including the lady from "Great Expectations," who so obviously has lost her mind and could plead insanity. I do think we need to make a distinction there.

Also, who is the woman to be supposed the vilest in "A Game of Thrones"? Cersei, I'm guessing?


message 11: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie Henderson Marquise wrote: "Nice list, I haven't met most of these terrifying ladies. :)

I don't agree with placing Amber amongst the vilest, to be honest. This is more a case of a capricious and empty-headed girl rather tha..."


Marquise, I agree with you on a few of these ladies and whether or not they were nuts or just evil. Annie of "Misery" seemed more cuckoo than evil for me so I didn't vote for her. But if Scarlett O'Hara made this list then Amber certainly belongs here too.
Even though Forever Amber was my grandmother's favorite book I couldn't stand Amber. (view spoiler)

Meanwhile, Scarlett O'Hara was a victim of circumstances and was trying to keep her family from starving to death during the Civil War. If not for the Civil War she would probably have continued to lead a charmed life with no worries or responsibilities.

Cersei and Melisandra from GOT belong here too.


message 12: by Marquise (new)

Marquise Well, the same caveat applied to Scarlett also applies to Amber: what she did, was for survival too. I really don't think either of these women qualify, and as the list is made up of too many people that shouldn't be here and there's no clear distinction, I don't think I can vote with honesty here if there's no clear distinction between evil women, insane women and plain self-centred and annoying belles.

Melisandre? Definitely not! Another case of a misunderstood woman rather than an evil woman. Cersei does qualify, but even for her there's attenuating circumstances.


message 13: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Marquise wrote: "Well, the same caveat applied to Scarlett also applies to Amber: what she did, was for survival too. I really don't think either of these women qualify, and as the list is made up of too many peopl..."

Spot on Marquise!


message 14: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie Henderson Marquise wrote: "Well, the same caveat applied to Scarlett also applies to Amber: what she did, was for survival too. I really don't think either of these women qualify, and as the list is made up of too many peopl..."

Great remarks Marquise and this may call for a "Just Misunderstood Women" list or maybe a "Were they crazy or evil" list :D

I've only read the GOT books so I'm not up to date on the current TV series but from what I recall of Melisandre's penchant for burning people alive I've gotta go with she was evil and not misunderstood.


message 15: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear Marquise wrote: ". And neither do I agree with including the lady from "Great Expectations," who so obviously has lost her mind and could plead insanity. I do think we need to make a distinction there.."

No, not Miss Havisham! Estella! You can argue that Estella was raised to be like that by Miss Havisham who was not right in the head but Estella was pretty awful to Pip.


message 16: by Marquise (new)

Marquise QNPoohBear wrote: "No, not Miss Havisham! Estella! You can argue that Estella was raised to be like that by Miss Havisham who was not right in the head but Estella was pretty awful to Pip."

See, that's part of why this list is a joke: nobody has been clear about anything, and it's starting to look like "female character I dislike/think is obnoxious" = "vilest woman." Just look closely at who is listed and the absolute lack of clarity. Anna Karenina? Surely this is a joke? And you really believe Susan Vernon is up there with child murderers like Mahaut d'Artois or callous bitches like Cersei Lannister?

Laurie wrote: "I've only read the GOT books so I'm not up to date on the current TV series but from what I recall of Melisandre's penchant for burning people alive I've gotta go with she was evil and not misunderstood."

But I'm speaking of the books, not the show. Melisandre has an agenda and a reason for what she does, she doesn't just burn people left, right and centre just because or because she's bad. She is no Torquemada. And there's the biased POV structure to consider in this series famous for doing character turnarounds, and Melisandre doesn't have a POV till late. The show actually made her worse and eviller even, and you'd even think she "enjoys" burning people by just looking at her face during the burnings.


message 17: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie Henderson Marquise, are you friends with Bettie...the person who created this list? You might want to take it up with her if you think her list is a joke I challenge you to create your own list as I suggested above with more definite parameters that take into account whether someone was crazy, stupid or evil.

Melisandre is a sorceress who likes to burn people alive to get what she wants. That's still evil in my book so we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I've enjoyed our discussion.


message 18: by Marquise (last edited Jan 17, 2016 05:42AM) (new)

Marquise Laurie wrote: "Marquise, are you friends with Bettie...the person who created this list? You might want to take it up with her if you think her list is a joke."

No, I am not friends with her. And I don't see why I should "take it up with her" as if I had an issue with her, when it's the voters who are adding titles the list creator might as well not agree with for all I know, and it's the voters' additions and choices I'm opining about. I have no problem with the list creator nor with any voter here, I am challenging the criteria or lack thereof for choosing specific titles that I believe don't belong here, so if your answer to any criticism of a list is like this, then you might as well not invite me to vote on any list anymore, please, because it was you and not the list creator who asked me to come and vote. And I'm not into lists, and I'm not going to create any just because you believe I should.

I can agree to disagree with you on Melisandre, but if you're going to make sweeping generalisations over a character, it's expected that other people will chime in with different opinions.


message 19: by Bettie (last edited Jan 17, 2016 11:00AM) (new)

Bettie This list is for 'vile' rather than 'evil', which being of supernatural connotation has no bearing here. You can arugue the toss that Anne Boleyn had a sad upbringing (she didn't, BTW), she chose to become vile all on her tantrumy ownsome.

Anyone can make their own list so long as it is not of personal orientation and is open to everyone.
:O)


message 20: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Bettie☯ wrote: "This list is for 'vile' rather than 'evil', which is of supernatural connotation that has no bearing in this list...."

Uhmm, or perhaps many of us could simply be arguing semantics here. Just a thought... :)

vile (adjective)
1. wretchedly bad
2. highly offensive, unpleasant, or objectionable
3. repulsive or disgusting, as to the senses or feeling
4. morally debased, depraved, or despicable
5. foul; filthy
6. poor; wretched
7. of mean or low condition

Synonyms: mean, repellent, vicious, evil, iniquitous, vulgar, obscene, contemptible
http://dictionary.reference.com/brows...


message 21: by Bettie (new)

Bettie As the list creator - I reject the supernatural connotations of evil being relevent to this list. If you want something different, please feel free to start your own list, you have brought enough spatting negativity to mine!


message 22: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie Henderson Bettie☯ wrote: "This list is for 'vile' rather than 'evil', which being of supernatural connotation has no bearing here. You can arugue the toss that Anne Boleyn had a sad upbringing (she didn't, BTW), she chose t..."

Hi Bettie, I see we share the same bad opinion of Anne Boleyn being VILE.

I've enjoyed voting on your list so much - so thanks for all the fun :D


message 23: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie Henderson Marquise wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Marquise, are you friends with Bettie...the person who created this list? You might want to take it up with her if you think her list is a joke."

No, I am not friends with her. And ..."



What a tempest in a teapot Marquise!

Don't worry, I'll never invite you to vote on another list again my dear, if your behavior is always this rude :D

Why not address the person whose votes or additions to this list you consider a joke instead of making sweeping generalizations?

Why not have a polite discussion with that person that you disagree with instead of all the drama?

I have no problem with you disagreeing with anyone on this list, just be brave enough to tell the person directly instead of such a round about way.
If you don't like person X's vote no need to tell her that you dislike her vote to another person with comments that are intended for Person X to read.
Why such a lack of candor in this situation?


And once again, feel free to create the perfect list since this one isn't good enough for you.

How unkind and ungracious you have been to Bettie btw.
You don't have to like her list but is that a reason to be so rude?

Have a great week ahead Marquise :D


message 24: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Bettie, I'm sorry if you deemed my response as negative or argumentative, it was certainly not meant as such. I was simply pointing out the fact that words often mean different things to different people,. My apologies if you found it offensive and have edited my response in message 9 to reflect that.

Thanks for taking the time to make the list, it was interesting to see other people's opinions regarding the issue. Best wishes.


message 25: by Marquise (new)

Marquise Laurie wrote: "Don't worry, I'll never invite you to vote on another list again my dear, if your behavior is always this rude :D"

Thanks for the gratuitous condescencion. Actually, this is the first time I've commented on a list to express disagreement.

Why not have a polite discussion with that person that you disagree with instead of all the drama?

I was disagreeing with QNPoohBear, who's my GR friend here, and I am sure she understood over what. If not, then I apologise to her if I offended her unintentionally. And the other person I was disagreeing with was you over the inclusion of Melisandre. I never mentioned I didn't like your vote, I said I didn't agree Melisandre qualified as "vile". You called her a "sorceress who likes to burn people," which you can't support because that's simply not true in the books, and she's not even in the book included here, she's not in "A Game of Thrones."

And once again, feel free to create the perfect list since this one isn't good enough for you.

Thanks again for more condescencion and putting words in my mouth that I never uttered. So, because I disagree with the inclusion of four, read well: FOUR books, that must mean I think this list is shit? I actually voted first for several books before I realised the criteria wasn't clear and retired my vote.

How unkind and ungracious you have been to Bettie btw.
You don't have to like her list but is that a reason to be so rude?


Spare me. This is an open forum where people can post their opinions, and I've seen that in other lists users also disagree with what book should or shouldn't be included. And that's what I did. It was you who decided I had a problem with the list creator whom I don't know, and I was addressing 2 people I do know: you and QNPoohBear, and that I should go open other lists because "this isn't good enough for me." You essentially told me to go elsewhere or address the list creator over a disagreement I had with you and another user. If telling me that passes for polite discussion in your book, I don't know what to tell you.


message 26: by Marquise (new)

Marquise To Bethie;

I don't know you, but I apologise for any trouble I might have caused over this disagreement. Thanks for your patience, I'm leaving you in peace now. :)


message 27: by ``Laurie (new)

``Laurie Henderson Marquise wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Don't worry, I'll never invite you to vote on another list again my dear, if your behavior is always this rude :D"

Thanks for the gratuitous condescencion. Actually, this is the fir..."


How long do your "attack of the vapors" usually last???

Enough of your drama queen antics Marquise, I don't have time or the inclination to indulge you.

I suggest you make yourself a nice, warm cup of Chamomile tea and perhaps a sniff of smelling salts to restore you to your usual charming self.


message 28: by Libby (new)

Libby My choices were all made because of the elements of coldness and active choice in these women. To be truly considered vile, I think those are necessary components.


message 29: by Paige (new)

Paige Atonement - Brioney
Misery - Anne Wilks
A Song of Fire and Ice - Cersi


back to top