The Fearless Adventuress: 7 Bold Adventure Novels by Female Authors
When people think of “adventure fiction” as a genre, we tend to think of the those classic adventure stories of the 19th century, and of books written by men like Mark Twain, Emilio Salgari, and Jules Verne. As a result, it’s easy to think of adventure fiction as a very masculine pursuit, but there is a long established tradition of women writing adventure fiction, that runs back to 19th century female adventure authors like Charlotte Mary Yonge and Baroness Emma Orczy.
Once a popular genre, we now live in a world in which “adventure fiction” is more often broken down into other genres for easy categorisation, whether they be crime and thriller, fantasy, or science fiction. That said, there’s still a healthy thirst for adventure out there, and plenty of women writing it, regardless of which genre their books happen to fit into otherwise.
Adventure fiction generally tends to focus on pace and plot above all else. If their characters can sometimes seem a little one-dimensional, it seldom detracts from their appeal. After all, one-dimensional characters tend to get swept up on a thrilling adventure that much more quickly.
This reading list starts with some of the women who wrote what we might consider that “classic” Victorian-era adventure fiction, and works up to more modern books that, despite being considered more often in terms of other genres now, help to continue the spirit of thrill and excitement of all good adventure fiction.
Hopefully, there's been something on this list to suit the tastes of all adventure fiction fans. Obviously, no such list could possibly be comprehensive, but if you feel that there is a glaring omission then by all means add a note about it in the comments so that we can get swept up in our own adventure as we try to find out about them.
If we really fall in love, we'll add them to the list.