Our favourite literary characters

Our favourite literary characters

Often it’s the characters in a book that make it great just as much as the story. So we asked the Listening Books team – who is your favourite character from a book?

Here’s what they said:

ClaireColonel Brandon

As I’m re-reading Sense and Sensibility, I have to go with Colonel Brandon. We only get to know him as the book progresses, but he’s loyal, kind and generous and is the true romantic hero.


Whenever asked this, my first thoughts go to characters such as Bertie Wooster, Jennings, or Huckleberry Finn – people with genuinely good hearts who wish the best for everyone. But if I’m being perfectly honest, my favourite book character is Adam from MP Shiel’s The Purple Cloud who, upon finding himself the last person left on earth, sets out to destroy all traces of mankind. What’s not to like?


I think I’ll go for Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, because she’s really tough and courageous but also inquisitive, and we learn about the other characters and the story through her making sense of the world around her (although I guess that bit is partly good story telling!).


This is a very difficult question! One of my favourite characters is Professor Umbridge from the Harry Potter novels. I remember absolutely hating this character, which was strangely one of the most enjoyable things about reading the book!! J. K. Rowling’s fantastic descriptions of her appearance (like a large toad!) and her office full of china plates decorated with kittens is so vivid in my mind. She is such a great villain in the story and this makes the outcome even more satisfying!

JennyRatty and Mole

Hmmm, this a tough one but I’m going to go with Ratty from The Wind in the Willows. He’s a very sensible and caring character who goes out of his way to help others, and also makes sure Mr Toad doesn’t kill himself on his adventures, whilst also being very fun loving.


These are some of our favourite characters – who are yours? We’d love to hear all about them.


This post was edited by Holly Newson.

Picture credit: Paul K – Flickr, live-love-forgive – Deviant Art

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