Miss Havisham in Great Expectations by Charles DickensRead about another entry on the list.
Perhaps not a natural born loner but a woman driven to solitude through heartbreak, Miss Havisham stays inside her mansion, all the clocks stopped at twenty to nine, the minute she received the letter telling her she was jilted, always wearing the wedding dress she was never married in, the wedding cake left uneaten on the table. Adopting Estelle, initially to protect the young girl from heartbreak but then using her to inflict heartbreak on Pip, she exerts huge control over other people's lives. And all this without leaving the house.
Great Expectations appears on Chrissie Gruebel's top ten list of books set in London, Melissa Albert's list of five interesting fictional characters who would make undesirable roommates, Janice Clark's list of seven top novels about the horrors of adolescence, Amy Wilkinson's list of five books Kate Middleton should have read while waiting to give birth, Kate Clanchy's top ten list of novels that reflect the real qualities of adolescence, Joseph Olshan's list of six favorite books, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best clocks in literature, ten of the best appropriate deaths in literature, ten of the best castles in literature, ten of the best Hamlets, ten of the best card games in literature, and ten best list of fights in fiction. It also made Tony Parsons' list of the top ten troubled males in fiction, David Nicholls' top ten list of literary tear jerkers, and numbers among Kurt Anderson's five most essential books. The novel is #1 on Melissa Katsoulis' list of "twenty-five films that made it from the book shelf to the box office with credibility intact."
Read an 1861 review of Great Expectations.