10 of the Most Memorable Rabbits in Fiction

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Category: Reading
Tagged: characters

On 16 December 1901 Beatrix Potter self-published The Tale of Peter Rabbit. She was right to suspect she was on to something good - over 100 years later the book is a children’s classic and Peter Rabbit one of the most famous bunnies in literature.

This got us thinking about the remarkable popularity of hare and rabbit characters in fiction and their ability to burrow their way into the heart of literary classics. In honour of the anniversary of Beatrix Potter creating a rabbit icon, we’ve made a list of some of the most notorious bunnies in fiction.

These are the ones that immediately hopped off the page but please add your suggestions below...

 

1. Peter Rabbit

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter

This is one of our more senior rabbits that has undoubtedly inspired the naming of thousands of pet rabbits (including my own). This rabbit is a rebel; running riot in Mr McGregor’s garden and indulging in a cup of camomile tea, it’s not surprising he’s hopping around most children’s bookshelves. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the best-selling books of all time and is likely one of the first rabbits you met in fiction.

 
 

2. The White Rabbit

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

This bespectacled, waist-coated and fastidious time-keeper is responsible for leading Alice down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Although he only makes fleeting appearances in the book, he's a quirky fellow that's become one of the iconic characters of Wonderland and he’s made the list for his eccentricities.

 
 

3. Miffy

Miffy, Dick Bruna

Despite being frequently mistaken as a distant relation of a Japanese cat 'Hello Kitty’, Miffy is in fact a Dutch rabbit from the 1950s. Featuring in over 30 books by Bruna and having been translated into more than 50 languages, she’s a global phenomenon that sprung from stories Bruna used to tell his son.

 
 

4. Rabbit

I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen

It’s unusual a rabbit adopts the role of the villain but Klassen has created a memorable rabbit reprobate in his tale of moral duplicity I Want My Hat Back. And as we know from The Tales of Peter Rabbit, the outcome for rabbits isn’t always good...

 
 

5. The Hare

The Tortoise and the Hare, Aesop’s Fables

This character has won inclusion for burrowing through centuries of literature and popping up with an age-old lesson; haste is not always the best policy, nor is napping on the job...

 
 

6. Hazel

Watership Down, Richard Adams

This rabbit is at the centre of the apocalypse trying to the save the world one warren at a time. As the leader of the rebel band of bunnies, in what is possibly the most well-known all-rabbit classic, Hazel is one of our most memorable bunnies.

 
 

7. The March Hare

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

Meet the second hare to have made the final cut for his eccentricities. Sidekick to the (Mad) Hatter and stuck in a perpetual cycle of tea drinking, he's another iconic cotton tail and central to our concept of 'rabbitness'.

 
 

8. Rabbit

Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne

Not only is Rabbit one of the cleverest residents of Hundred Acre Wood, he's also one of the most humananised in fiction. Rabbit is a keen reader and initiator of ambitious plans such as ‘unbouncing’ Tigger and is on our list flying the flag for the rabbit intelligentsia.

 
 

9. Pirate

We3, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

This robo-rabbit is a relatively new bunny on the block and the most futuristic of our colony. Pirate is part of science experiment of weaponised animals and a trio of pets on the run from the government. This half-rabbit, half-robot shows how bunnies are rolling with the times and shakes up the traditional fluffy image.

 
 

10. Captain Bucky O’Hare

Captain Bucky O’Hare, Larry Hama and Michael Golden

The third hare to make the list. This 80s warrior is another rabbit figure trying to save the world - with a team of animals and a spaceship. Bucky generated a media empire and still has a strong following today. And he’s a green hare fighting crime in space, which is quite frankly, timeless.

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