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books The Best French Authors  

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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
81 28
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

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2
74 25
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Authors
Albert Camus The Plague, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus

3
60 19
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Authors
Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers

4
47 11
Gustave Flaubert is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Authors
Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary

5
73 29
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Authors
Victor Hugo Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

6
71 29
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
56 19
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Authors
Charles Baudelaire Les Fleurs du Mal, Le Spleen de Paris

8
64 27
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
46 15
Molière is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Authors
Molière Tartuffe, The Miser

10
36 8
Guy de Maupassant is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Authors
Guy de Maupassant Bel Ami, Une vie, Pierre et Jean

11
46 17
Stendhal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Authors
Stendhal The Red and the Black, The Charterhouse of Parma, Spicy food

12
48 22
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Authors
Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

13
35 12
Émile Zola is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Authors
Émile Zola Nana, Germinal, Thérèse Raquin

14
27 9
René Descartes is listed (or ranked) 14 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

15
23 7
Frédéric Mistral is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Authors
Frédéric Mistral Mirèio, Coupo Santo, Calendau

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16
24 8
André Gide is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Authors
André Gide The Counterfeiters, The Imoralist

17
57 37
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Authors
Marcel Proust In Search of Lost Time

18
31 15
Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean Cocteau Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus

19
25 10
Marcel Pagnol is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Authors
Marcel Pagnol The Well-Digger's Daughter, Manon Des Sources, Manon des sources

20
18 4
François Villon is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
30 15
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Authors
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince

22
33 18
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Authors
Arthur Rimbaud Illuminations

23
16 4
Chrétien de Troyes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Chrétien de Troyes Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, Erec and Enide

24
16 4
Jean Raspail is listed (or ranked) 24 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 ...

25
14 3
François-René de Chateaubriand is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added François-René de Chateaubriand Atala*, Travels in Greece, Palestine

26
17 6
Jean Racine is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean Racine Phèdre, Alexandre le Grand, Les Plaideurs

27
14 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
13 4
Georges Bernanos is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
14 5
Arthur de Gobineau is listed (or ranked) 29 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

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30
18 9
Edmond Rostand is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Authors
Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac , The Story of Chanticleer

31
48 38
Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Authors
Voltaire Candide

32
12 4
Maurice Barrès is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Maurice Barrès The Faith of France, The sacred hill, The soul of France

33
12 4
Alphonse Daudet is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Alphonse Daudet The Leopard, Las Aventuras de Jack, Fromont the younger and Risler the elder

34
13 5
Pierre Drieu La Rochelle is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Pierre Drieu La Rochelle The Man on Horseback, Chronique politique, 1934-1942

35
14 6
Paul Morand is listed (or ranked) 35 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

36
15 7
Robert Brasillach is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Robert Brasillach A translation of Notre avant-guerre/Before the war by Robert Brasillach

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
8 3
Jacques Perret is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Jacques Perret Ernest le Rebelle, Le caporal épinglé, Role de Plaisance

40
12 7
Anatole France is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Authors
Anatole France Penguin Island, The path of glory, Rabelais

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

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44
6 3
André Chénier is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added André Chénier Elegies and Camille

45
6 3
Alfred de Vigny is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Alfred de Vigny Servitude and grandeur of arms, Servitude et grandeur militaires, Chatterton

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
7 6
Raymond Radiguet is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
5 4
Paul Bourget is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Paul Bourget L'étape, Le démon de midi, André Cornélis

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