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.

1
+ - 1,261 605
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A Confession

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2
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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
+ - 2,094 1,043
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
William Shakespeare King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet

4
+ - 1,070 551
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
+ - 962 495
Homer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Homer Iliad, Odyssey

6
+ - 895 457
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Edgar Allan Poe The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado

7
+ - 808 410
George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
George Orwell 1984, Animal Farm

8
+ - 953 499
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
+ - 653 325
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Dante Alighieri La Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy

10
+ - 762 392
Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

11
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Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, Entremeses

12
+ - 439 206
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Victor Hugo Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades

13
+ - 607 311
Franz Kafka is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Franz Kafka The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle

14
+ - 623 320
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
+ - 709 374
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises

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16
+ - 483 240
John Steinbeck is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
John Steinbeck Lifeboat, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath

17
+ - 523 263
F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
+ - 399 192
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
+ - 541 277
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
James Joyce Ulysses

20
+ - 419 204
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma

21
+ - 430 215
Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Anton Chekhov Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard

22
+ - 362 171
Plato is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Plato The Republic, Lysis, Ion

23
+ - 416 208
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Black Tulip

24
+ - 322 152
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
+ - 444 230
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 25 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

26
+ - 451 238
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

27
+ - 421 221
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
C. S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

28
+ - 284 133
Brothers Grimm is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Brothers Grimm Snow White and Rose Red, Rumpelstiltskin, Pied Piper of Hamelin

29
+ - 352 177
Sophocles is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Sophocles Oedipus the King, Electra, Antigone

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+ - 372 190
William Faulkner is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying

31
+ - 384 199
Hans Christian Andersen is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale

32
+ - 305 150
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
+ - 505 283
Friedrich Nietzsche is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Friedrich Nietzsche On the Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, My Sister and I

34
+ - 340 180
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
+ - 305 157
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov Lolita, Machenka, The Defense

36
+ - 332 177
Herman Melville is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Herman Melville Moby Dick, Benito Cereno

37
+ - 261 129
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando: A Biography

38
+ - 295 153
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Roald Dahl Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, You Only Live Twice

39
+ - 273 140
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Emily Dickinson The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

40
+ - 233 115
Jonathan Swift is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella

41
+ - 231 113
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
+ - 277 145
Jorge Luis Borges is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jorge Luis Borges Fictions, The Aleph

43
+ - 337 187
Aldous Huxley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Aldous Huxley Alice in Wonderland, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice

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+ - 246 124
Virgil is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Virgil Aeneid, The Georgics, Doomed Love

45
+ - 250 127
T. S. Eliot is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
+ - 301 164
Gabriel García Márquez is listed (or ranked) 46 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

47
+ - 251 129
John Milton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
John Milton Paradise Lost, Areopagitica, Samson Agonistes

48
+ - 225 114
Nikolai Gogol is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Nikolai Gogol Taras Bulba, Marriage, Diary of a Madman

49
+ - 284 156
Hermann Hesse is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Hermann Hesse Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, Kurgast: Aufzeichnungen von einer Badener Kur

50
+ - 210 105
Geoffrey Chaucer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales, House of Fame