authors The Best Writers of All Time  

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List Rules Vote up the best writers and authors of all time.

The pen is truly mightier than the sword, and if you’re a book enthusiast you know that to be true. Some of history’s most influential people were authors, writing the most important literature and political works of all time. Writers have shaped human history, capturing some of the most important historical events and reflecting the culture of a changing world around us in a profound way. Who are the best writers of all time? Vote up the authors you think are the best and see how they rank!

The writers on this list are the best in history, writing books, plays, essays, and poetry that has stood the test of time and make up the world's canon of literature and written work. No matter what type of writing you like to read, you can't go wrong with a book by one of these best writers of all time.

This list features the best writers ever, including, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Emily Bronte, Geoffrey Chaucer, Homer, Joseph Conrad, Charles Dickens, Herman Melleville, William Faulkner, and Edgar Allan Poe. Vote up the best authors of all time below or add the writer you think is the best who isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
+ - 2,572 1,262
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
William Shakespeare King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet

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2
+ - 2,041 995
Fyodor Dostoevsky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Fyodor Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment, Demons, The Idiot

3
+ - 1,572 759
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A Confession

4
+ - 1,342 682
Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Charles Dickens Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House

5
+ - 1,192 599
Homer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Homer Iliad, Odyssey

6
+ - 1,021 505
Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

7
+ - 1,073 542
George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
George Orwell 1984, Animal Farm

8
+ - 1,295 670
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion

9
+ - 1,115 570
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Edgar Allan Poe The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado

10
+ - 608 284
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Victor Hugo Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades

11
+ - 912 468
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises

12
+ - 640 315
John Steinbeck is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
John Steinbeck Lifeboat, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath

13
+ - 790 407
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Dante Alighieri La Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy

14
+ - 772 397
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray, The importance of being Earnest and other plays, An Ideal Husband

15
+ - 1,421 789
Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, Entremeses

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16
+ - 677 341
F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, This Side of Paradise

17
+ - 601 297
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma

18
+ - 747 387
Franz Kafka is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Franz Kafka The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle

19
+ - 533 257
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Arthur Conan Doyle The Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

20
+ - 677 346
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
James Joyce Ulysses

21
+ - 575 291
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
C. S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

22
+ - 528 266
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Black Tulip

23
+ - 560 290
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jules Verne 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Castaways of the Flag

24
+ - 467 237
William Faulkner is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying

25
+ - 453 230
Plato is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Plato The Republic, Lysis, Ion

26
+ - 513 273
Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Anton Chekhov Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard

27
+ - 422 216
Herman Melville is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Herman Melville Moby Dick, Benito Cereno

28
+ - 471 250
Hans Christian Andersen is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale

29
+ - 371 185
Brothers Grimm is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Brothers Grimm Snow White and Rose Red, Rumpelstiltskin, Pied Piper of Hamelin

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30
+ - 421 219
Sophocles is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Sophocles Oedipus the King, Electra, Antigone

31
+ - 433 228
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Albert Camus The Plague, The Stranger, A Happy Death

32
+ - 372 188
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of Ballantrae

33
+ - 413 216
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

34
+ - 519 289
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

35
+ - 585 335
Friedrich Nietzsche is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Friedrich Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, My Sister and I

36
+ - 393 207
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Roald Dahl Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, You Only Live Twice

37
+ - 376 195
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov Lolita, Machenka, The Defense

38
+ - 314 156
H. G. Wells is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
H. G. Wells The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Things to Come

39
+ - 317 163
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Mary Shelley Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice

40
+ - 342 181
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Emily Dickinson The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

41
+ - 304 155
Rudyard Kipling is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book, Kim, The Man Who Would Be King

42
+ - 408 228
Aldous Huxley is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Aldous Huxley Alice in Wonderland, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice

43
+ - 255 122
Jack London is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jack London The Call of the Wild, White Fang, John Barleycorn

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44
+ - 290 147
Jonathan Swift is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella

45
+ - 371 206
Gabriel García Márquez is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Gabriel García Márquez One Hundred Years of Solitude, Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera

46
+ - 233 109
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings

47
+ - 286 148
Robert Frost is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Robert Frost The Collected Poems, Come in, The Road Not Taken

48
+ - 262 133
Geoffrey Chaucer is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales, House of Fame

49
+ - 323 177
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando: A Biography

50
+ - 245 121
Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Voltaire Candide, Zaïre, The age of Louis XIV