• 19th Century

Which 19th-Century Literary Heroine Are You Based On Your Zodiac?

Despite the many years that separate their time from ours, the leading ladies of 19th-century literary novels are surprisingly relatable. Readers often see themselves in these finely crafted heroines. While most of these women are complex enough that anyone can appreciate them, you might vibe with some characters more than others based on your astrological sign.

If you're a Scorpio, chances are high that Catherine Earnshaw's burning adoration of Heathcliff doesn't seem overblown. After all, love for this sign is as deep, dark, and dangerous as a storm-battered ocean. Meanwhile, Cancers will probably understand why Emma Woodhouse is so invested in arranging her friends' relationships - even if those friends aren't.

No matter where you fall on the zodiac cycle, there's a 19th-century literary heroine that you can now pretend was based on you.

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  • Photo: Anne with an E / Netflix

    Anne Shirley is a spunky orphan girl who faces even the most harrowing circumstances with enthusiasm and cheer. A lot of kids wouldn't be able to maintain a positive attitude after losing their parents and being shuffled from guardian to guardian, but somehow Anne manages. She also isn't the type of person to grin and bear it; if something is annoying or unfair, she'll speak her mind. However, if she's in the wrong, she's quick to apologize with enthusiasm. 

    This kind of energy and verve is characteristic of the first sign in the zodiac cycle, Aries. For good or for ill, Anne is a force to be reckoned with. She's reckless and stubborn, but she's also full of enthusiasm and powerfully devoted to the people she loves. 

  • Photo: The Scarlet Letter / Buena Vista Pictures

    Best known for her "adulterous" affair, Hester Prynne is a remarkably complex character. After her husband sends her ahead of him from England to the New World, she's forced to support herself as a seamstress. When she thinks that he's passed on, she starts an affair that ends with the birth of a daughter. Condemned by her Puritan society for intimacy outside of marriage, she's eventually forced to wear a scarlet "A" to identify her as an adulterer. Despite feeling some guilt about betraying her society's standards, she wears the letter with pride and honor.

    It takes some major Taurean stubbornness to pull off something like that. No matter how much the world might condemn her, Hester refuses to break. Getting into her situation in the first place is a Taurus thing, too: She isn't going to deny herself the comfort and pleasure of love just because her husband's out of the picture. 

  • Gemini (May 21-June 20): Bella Wilfer

    Photo: Our Mutual Friend / BBC Two

    Over the course of Our Mutual Friend, Bella Wilfer goes from a shallow, spoiled brat to a genuinely kindhearted young woman. Though she initially marries for money, she eventually realizes that there are other, more meaningful factors to consider. 

    While all signs are capable of dramatic character development, only Gemini vacillates quite so wildly. Like the Twin sign, Bella can be a mischievous socialite with a sparkle in her eye, and she can also be vapid and cruel. But underneath all the bravado lies a good-hearted person who is trying her best. 

  • Photo: Emma / BBC One

    One of the chief concerns of most Cancers is the affairs of their friends and loved ones. Whether it's making sure their guests have had enough to eat or trying to play matchmaker with their friends, Cancers just want to make sure everybody in their life is doing well - even if it means poking their noses in where they don't belong. 

    Like most people under the influence of this nurturing sign, Emma Woodhouse cares deeply about the people in her inner circle. The problem is that she cares a little bit too much. Not everybody appreciates her attempts to play matchmaker. In fact, some see her as straight-up manipulative - just ask Harriet Smith! But her friends know that, despite her blunders, she's good at heart and has the capacity to change.