Photo: via Tumblr

books The Best French Authors  

2.2k votes 262 voters 4.9k views 65 items Embed

List Rules Top French writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays

A list of the best French authors that have provided works of nonfiction, poetry, and fiction that have become classics. Authors such as Victor Hugo, Albert Camus, and Alexandre Dumas may be familiar names of French authors that are added to the list, along with others that may not be as best-selling. This list of French writers includes playwrights and philosophers 

This list will answer the question, "who are the best French authors?" Whether someone is looking for classic writers, more contemporary writers, poets or a new author to add to their reading list, this is a perfect place to start.
 
The list is changed based on the ranking from voters, and since it does not include all French authors ever, you can add any that are missing.

1
80 26
Louis-Ferdinand Céline is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean-marieGerard added Louis-Ferdinand Céline Journey to the End of the Night, Death on Credit, Œuvres de Louis Ferdinand Céline

The Best French Language Poets of All Time The Greatest Graphic Novels and Collected Editions

2
56 15
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Authors
Charles Baudelaire Les Fleurs du Mal, Le Spleen de Paris

3
66 24
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Authors
Albert Camus The Plague, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus

4
45 10
Gustave Flaubert is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Authors
Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary

5
67 27
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Authors
Victor Hugo Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

6
68 28
Honoré de Balzac is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Authors
Honoré de Balzac Le Père Goriot, Eugénie Grandet, Cousin Bette

7
54 19
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Authors
Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers

8
59 25
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Authors
Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, A Journey to the Center of the Earth

9
33 7
Guy de Maupassant is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Authors
Guy de Maupassant Bel Ami, Une vie, Pierre et Jean

10
46 17
Stendhal is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Authors
Stendhal The Red and the Black, The Charterhouse of Parma, Spicy food

11
42 15
Molière is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Authors
Molière Tartuffe, The Miser

12
34 11
Émile Zola is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Authors
Émile Zola Nana, Germinal, Thérèse Raquin

13
47 22
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Authors
Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

14
23 7
Frédéric Mistral is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Authors
Frédéric Mistral Mirèio, Coupo Santo, Calendau

15
24 9
René Descartes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Authors
nietzschescode added René Descartes Meditations on First Philosophy, Discourse on the Method, Rules for the Direction of the Mind

The Best French Novels Last Words Written By Famous People In Their Suicide Notes

16
25 10
Marcel Pagnol is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Authors
Marcel Pagnol The Well-Digger's Daughter, Manon Des Sources, Manon des sources

17
22 8
André Gide is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Authors
André Gide The Counterfeiters, The Imoralist

18
30 15
Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean Cocteau Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus

19
17 4
François Villon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added François Villon Œuvres, Die lasterhaften Balladen und Lieder, Le grant testament Villon et le petit Son codicille. Le jargon. Les balades

20
16 4
Jean Raspail is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Jean Raspail The Camp of the Saints, L' anneau du pécheur, Qui se souvient des hommes ...

21
53 37
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Authors
Marcel Proust In Search of Lost Time

22
30 17
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Authors
Arthur Rimbaud Illuminations

23
14 3
François-René de Chateaubriand is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added François-René de Chateaubriand Atala*, Travels in Greece, Palestine

24
27 15
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Authors
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince

25
14 4
Chrétien de Troyes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Chrétien de Troyes Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, Erec and Enide

26
16 6
Jean Racine is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean Racine Phèdre, Alexandre le Grand, Les Plaideurs

27
13 4
Gérard de Nerval is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Authors
nietzschescode added Gérard de Nerval Les Filles du feu, Poèmes d'Outre-Rhin, Les Illuminés

28
18 9
Edmond Rostand is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Authors
Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac , The Story of Chanticleer

29
12 4
Maurice Barrès is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Maurice Barrès The Faith of France, The sacred hill, The soul of France

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die 10 Surprising Reasons Why Humans Have Fingernails

30
12 4
Alphonse Daudet is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Alphonse Daudet The Leopard, Las Aventuras de Jack, Fromont the younger and Risler the elder

31
12 4
Georges Bernanos is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Georges Bernanos Under the Sun of Satan, Essais et écrits de combat, Le crépuscule des vieux

32
13 5
Pierre Drieu La Rochelle is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Pierre Drieu La Rochelle The Man on Horseback, Chronique politique, 1934-1942

33
13 5
Arthur de Gobineau is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Arthur de Gobineau Gobineau: selected political writings, Les dépêches diplomatiques du comte de Gobineau en Perse, Ce qui est arrive a la France en 1870

34
14 6
Paul Morand is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Paul Morand An exhibition of sculpture by Brancusi, Ci-gît Sophie Dorothée de Celle, De la vitesse

35
15 7
Robert Brasillach is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Robert Brasillach A translation of Notre avant-guerre/Before the war by Robert Brasillach

36
46 38
Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Authors
Voltaire Candide

37
11 5
François Mauriac is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Authors
François Mauriac Thérèse Desqueyroux, Flesh and Blood, The Holy Terror

38
9 4
Georges Dumézil is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Georges Dumézil Le Livre des héros , Du mythe au roman, 4e édition

39
12 7
Anatole France is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Authors
Anatole France Penguin Island, The path of glory, Rabelais

40
8 3
Jacques Perret is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Jacques Perret Ernest le Rebelle, Le caporal épinglé, Role de Plaisance

41
12 8
George Sand is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Authors
George Sand Little Fadette, Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence, Lelia

42
8 4
Roger Nimier is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Roger Nimier Elevator to the Gallows, I Vinti, Les Épées

43
10 7
Pierre Benoit is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Pierre Benoit Hercules and the Captive Women, Atlantida, Koenigsmark

The 10 Most Bizarre Sex Ed Videos The Best Baby Names For Twins

44
6 3
Alfred de Vigny is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Alfred de Vigny Servitude and grandeur of arms, Servitude et grandeur militaires, Chatterton

45
6 3
André Chénier is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added André Chénier Elegies and Camille

46
6 3
Antoine Blondin is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Antoine Blondin The Secrets of the Bed, Last Leap, Obsession

47
12 10
Gaston Leroux is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best French Authors
Gaston Leroux The Phantom of the Opera, The Mystery of the Yellow Room, Le Fauteuil hanté

48
5 4
Paul Bourget is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Paul Bourget L'étape, Le démon de midi, André Cornélis

49
6 6
Raymond Radiguet is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean-marieGerard added Raymond Radiguet The devil in the flesh, Les joues en feu, Le Diable au corps

50
6 6
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best French Authors
HardyPierce added Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio Désert, Le Procès-Verbal, Terra Amata