Finished reading The Scarlet Pimpernel. Snoooooooooooooore....
Without intending to, I've read three books in a row that were all written by female authors from a female's perspective, and they are all quite different in their portrayal of women. The Scarlet Pimpernel is intended to be a swashbuckling romance, I think, but there's not much swashbuckling going on. There's not much of anything going on in that book. I really hated how the woman was written -- dainty and feminine, with much mention of her darling face and lily white hands. At one crucial point she faints and then later has to be carried by her strong and handsome husband and I was like, OH COME ON. Plus you could see who the Scarlet Pimpernel was going to be a million miles away.
The female in The Bell Jar is also a fragile creature, but I was more willing to forgive it since it was a story about mental illness. While I might have questioned Esther's actions, I never questioned the character as a literary point or as part of a story, if that makes any sense.
Wuthering Heights is just balls out crazy -- everyone's an asshole, men and women alike. Women had their defined roles in that time period but those roles never impinged on the character within the story. The women were just as stupid as the men and could be just as dickish. I think of the three I enjoyed this story the most.
So, now onto some other things, less womany things. A reread of Kurt Vonnegut's Slapstick is in the queue. Thanks to Tripe's wife I plan on reading Tenant of Wildfell Hall when I can get my hands on it, and I will look into Jasper Fforde based on your recommendations here. I can probably find the Princess of Mars series easily enough, thanks to the movie, so I'll keep an eye out for that, too.