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.

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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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Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, Anna Karenina A Confession

3
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Fyodor Dostoevsky is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Fyodor Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment, Demons The Idiot

4
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Homer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Homer Iliad, Odyssey

5
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Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Edgar Allan Poe The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart The Cask of Amontillado

6
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Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Charles Dickens Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol Bleak House

7
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Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Dante Alighieri La Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy

8
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Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, Entremeses

9
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George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
George Orwell 1984, Animal Farm

10
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J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit The Silmarillion

11
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Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

12
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Franz Kafka is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Franz Kafka The Metamorphosis, The Trial The Castle

13
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F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
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Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Victor Hugo Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame Odes et Ballades

15
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John Steinbeck is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
John Steinbeck Lifeboat, Of Mice and Men The Grapes of Wrath

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James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
James Joyce Ulysses

17
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Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Anton Chekhov Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters The Cherry Orchard

18
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Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
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Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers The Black Tulip

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Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms The Sun Also Rises

21
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Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 21 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

22
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Plato is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Plato The Republic, Lysis Ion

23
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

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Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jules Verne 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the EarthThe Castaways of the Flag

25
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Sophocles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Sophocles Oedipus the King, Electra Antigone

26
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C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
C. S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe The Screwtape Letters

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Friedrich Nietzsche is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Friedrich Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spoke Zarathustra My Sister and I

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William Faulkner is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying

29
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Hans Christian Andersen is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling The Nightingale

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+ - 271 129
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 30 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

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Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 31 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

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Brothers Grimm is listed (or ranked) 32 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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Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov Lolita, Machenka The Defense

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Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Albert Camus The Plague, The Stranger A Happy Death

35
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Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility Emma

36
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Aldous Huxley is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Aldous Huxley Alice in Wonderland, Brave New World Pride and Prejudice

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Rudyard Kipling is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book, Kim The Man Who Would Be King

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Jack London is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jack London The Call of the Wild, White Fang John Barleycorn

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Hermann Hesse is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Hermann Hesse Siddhartha, Steppenwolf Kurgast: Aufzeichnungen von einer Badener Kur

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Herman Melville is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Herman Melville Moby Dick, Benito Cereno

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T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
T. S. Eliot The Waste Land, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

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Jorge Luis Borges is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jorge Luis Borges Fictions, The Aleph

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Gabriel García Márquez is listed (or ranked) 43 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

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Virgil is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Virgil Aeneid, The Georgics Doomed Love

45
+ - 224 109
John Milton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
John Milton Paradise Lost, Areopagitica Samson Agonistes

46
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Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Roald Dahl Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang You Only Live Twice

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Joseph Conrad is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim

48
+ - 235 122
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Emily Dickinson The complete poems, The letters Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

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Thomas Mann is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Thomas Mann Buddenbrooks, The Magic Mountain Death in Venice

50
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Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway Orlando: A Biography