The Best Dads in Literature

Some books features amazing dads (and father figures) that really help shape the other character’s lives. We’ve rounded up a list of ten of the best dads in literature—and of course we didn’t leave out the father figures who while are not technically fathers, they are quite an influential part of their “child’s” life.

Mr. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Although Mr. Bennet’s financial foresights may be lacking when it comes to the security of his family, that doesn’t make him any less of a great father to Elizabeth and the rest of his daughters. When it comes time for Elizabeth to marry and the irritating Mr. Collins asks for her hand, he responds by saying “Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do,” therefore supporting her decision to decline the proposal.

Matthew Cuthbert in Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Matthew was not Anne’s father, but nonetheless convinced his sister Marilla to let her stay after they were expecting a boy orphan to come and live with them. He definitely warms up to Ann and is such an important part of her life.

Jean Valjean in Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Jean Valjean becomes Cosette’s adoptive father after her mother dies. Besides providing a much better life for someone who he barely knew, he rescues her from the awful Thénardiers who were badly mistreating her. Even though Valjean is on the run from Javert, he is still a great father figure for Cosette.

Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Bob Cratchit may not have anything to give his six children, that doesn’t stop him from giving his unconditional love and support. He is a hardworking man trying to climb out of impoverished conditions. He especially cares for his youngest song, Tiny Tim, who is crippled.

Arthur Weasley in Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Mr. Weasley is one of the best fathers in fiction. While only technically a father to the Weasley’s, he acts as a father figure for Harry throughout much of the book. He may not be able to afford to buy his children everything, but his love and affection for all of them shines throughout the books.

Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Atticus Finch is a great role model for his daughter Scout and son Jem. He is a lawyer that teaches his children everyone is an equal, demonstrating this when he defends a black man on a baseless charge. His children have an interesting dynamic with Atticus—never calling him “dad”. But, nonetheless he has good beliefs and a strong moral compass that he passes on to his children.

Pa Ingalls in Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Laura’s father is a great role model. While he can be strict, he shows Laura many skills she will need in life. In addition to that, his love and affection for her mother is a positive influence on his children. Pa Ingalls also had a strong case of “wanderlust” that led the Ingalls to live in many different places—helping Laura write about so many interesting things she’d seen.

William in Danny The Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

After his wife passes away when his son is only four months old, William raises Danny by himself. He teaches Danny seven things he would normally learn later in life when he is seven. His dad is his best friend and never runs out of stories to tell him.

Ned Stark in Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

Although Ned Stark did have an affair, this doesn’t make him any less of a great father. While we wish he didn’t make some decisions (and had stayed in Winterfell forever), he truly cares about all of his children—even his illegitimate son.

Jo Gargery in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Pip’s brother-in-law acts as a surrogate father to him and is one of Dicken’s most genuine characters. He is compassionate to Pip through all of his fortunes and misfortunes, and really deserves to be recognized for his good-natured honesty.

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