LitJoy's Top 7 Peculiar People in Literature

LitJoy's Top 7 Peculiar People in Literature

4 minute read

We heard it was Peculiar People Day and we couldn't pass up an opportunity to celebrate literature's oddballs. Our favorites span almost 150 years of strange, eccentric and quirky characters. Take a look!

Miss Havisham (1860)

Charles Dickens gave us many unusual characters, but the one that stands out the most is the jilted and bitter wealthy recluse Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. After having been scammed by her half brother and her fiancé on her wedding day, Miss Havisham put on her wedding dress never to take it off again.

Miss Havisham from Great Expectations

She also left the wedding cake to rot on the table, stopped the clocks in her mansion, and adopted a daughter to teach her to ruin men's lives. The woman was committed to revenge, and we're here for it!

The Mad Hatter (1865)

In one of the most peculiar stories ever written, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland presents The Mad Hatter—quite the strange one. Here's a Mad Hatter quote that speaks for itself:

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be.
Illustration of the Mad Hatter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

See if you can piece together this Wonderland nonsense with our Wonderland Puzzle, featuring the Mad Hatter himself pouring Alice a cup of unbirthday tea!

Nick Carraway (1925)

Is it odd that we picked Nick Carraway over Jay Gatsby from F. Scott Fizgerald's The Great Gatsby? While Gatsby certainly has all eyes on him throughout the novel, it is his West Egg neighbor and our story's narrator Nick Carraway that gets our side eye. He just happens to float in and out of all the important places and conversations, and he keeps unusually close tabs on Gatsby.

Nick Carraway from The Great Gatsby portrayed by Toby Maguire He's says he's honest, but is he really? And is Nick in love with Gatsby? We have questions.

If you haven't read this incredible classic, or want to reread it with fresh eyes, check out our beautifully illustrated edition, with incredible, full-page depictions of five pivotal scenes. Or take a look at our favorite quotes from the novel.

Holden Caulfield (1951)

No one will argue that author J.D. Salinger is one of the more peculiar people in literature, and like previous authors on this list, he's also good at creating them. Our favorite is the cynical and jaded Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye who, like most of us, doesn't want to grow up and be another "phony." And for those of us who've gotten into dark academia, Salinger's stories are adjacent to the vibe. Holden Caulfield with his red hat on and smoking a pipe with birds coming out

Xenophilius Lovegood (2003)

You probably already know how we feel about the quirky and loveable Luna Lovegood from J.K. Rowling's wizarding world, but that's too easy. She got that spunk from somewhere, didn't she?

Xenophilius Lovegood, Luna Lovegood's dad Luna Lovegood's dad Xenophilius Lovegood—who finally appears in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—fits the peculiar people mold with his eccentric style and bizarre beliefs he passed on to beloved Luna. We even forgive his betrayal of Harry. Wouldn't you have done the same? Wear your peculiarities with pride in our Knit Lion Hat and make the Lovegoods proud!

Enola Holmes (2006)

You may know Sherlock Holmes' much younger sister Enola Holmes from the 2020 Netflix movie of the same name. But before Enola made it on screen, author Nancy Springer introduced her in The Enola Holmes Mysteries series, book 1: The Case of the Missing Marquess.

Enola Holmes as portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown, speaking of peculiar people, this is Sherlock's sister Enola is spirited, feisty, and defies traditional social norms. Her peculiarities not only help her solve the case, but also start her own business as a Perditorian—“From the Latin perditus, meaning 'lost' [...] one who divines that which is lost."

Enola is portrayed by actor Millie Bobby Brown who is pretty good at "strange" characters, don't you think?

Miss Peregrine (2011)

We'd be remiss if we didn't include Miss Peregrine and her peculiar children from Ransom Riggs' book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Alma LeFay Peregrine is both loving and strict in her care for the abandoned children with strange abilities—or "peculiars" as they are called.

Miss Peregrine herself is a peculiar called an ymbryne who can manipulate time and transform into a bird all for the protection and care of the children. This doesn't seem so peculiar after all.

Cover of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

From reclusive spinsters to angsty teenagers and fierce protectors, we love the weird and wacky eccentric characters in books because they make our stories more interesting. Who is on your peculiar people list?

Browse the LitJoy shop for more peculiar, fantastical, and magical items!

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