Called “Lizzie” or “Eliza” by her family and friends, Elizabeth Bennett is the stubborn and witty protagonist from the endearing 1813 Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice. She’s the second oldest of five daughters in the Bennett family and, like the rest of her sisters, she’s expected to marry for status and money, not for love. To remain true to herself, she’s willing to remain single, a concept that was practically unheard at the time. Find out the 20 best books to give the person who’s read everything.
She first appeared in the 1930s but remains one of the most iconic female characters in all of literature. Conceived by Edward Stratemeyer, who also penned the popular Hardy Boys series, Nancy Drew’s character was groundbreaking because she wasn’t simply a pretty sidekick to a leading male counterpart. Instead, the bold, physically strong, and fiercely intelligent Nancy used her superior intellect—not her looks—to solve a slew of mysteries. If you love mysteries, these are some of the best thriller books of all time.