Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The 40 Greatest Villains Of Literature

To have a hero, you need a villain. And in the annals of literary history, there have been some downright scoundrels, to put it mildly.

No deed is too dark, no action too despicable for this list of utter reprobates. We've selected 40 of the very worst (or best, depending on how you look at it); you should feel very very glad that these dastardly characters are confined to the pages of the books that contain them.

If we've missed any vile villains, let us know in the comments below.

Related

literary heartbreakers hero.jpg

25 literary girls who'll break your heart

coolest characters.jpg

The 40 coolest characters in literature

evil books.jpg

30 most evil lines from books

Comments

More

'First Dates' will pay you to go on the show as a "background date"

Want to meet Fred and the gang without all the pressure? Then this is the answer

by Alex Finnis
23 Feb 2017

BT Sport is about to start showing live games of FIFA 17

Would you tune in to watch the FIFA pros?

by Alex Finnis
23 Feb 2017

ITV slammed for heavily muting Skepta at Brits

Dermot O'Leary was allowed to swear

by Matt Tate
23 Feb 2017

Bradley Walsh and Stormzy became best mates at the BRITs

Expect a fire collab soon

by Matt Tate
23 Feb 2017

Louis Theroux is coming for Donald Trump in new documentary series

We always knew he would be our hero

by Alex Finnis
23 Feb 2017

Watch Mark Wahlberg's new film 'Patriots Day' for FREE with ShortList

An American cop becomes a terrorist-fighting hero

22 Feb 2017

Oscar nominees get the Honest Trailers treatment, and it's great

They're on form as ever

by Matt Tate
22 Feb 2017

Netflix picks up Martin Scorsese's 'The Irishman'

Production is scheduled to begin next year

22 Feb 2017

'Star Wars' release the first cast photo from the Han Solo spin-off

You can't have too much Chewie

by Matt Tate
22 Feb 2017

Morrisons want Sutton's Wayne Shaw as an official pie-taster

This was inevitable

by Alex Finnis
21 Feb 2017