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french The Best French Authors  

Ranker Books
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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.
list ordered by

1
99 32
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Authors
Albert Camus The Plague, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus

2
101 35
Louis-Ferdinand Céline is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
74 22
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
91 34
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Authors
Victor Hugo Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

5
80 31
Honoré de Balzac is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Authors
Honoré de Balzac Le Père Goriot, Eugénie Grandet, Cousin Bette

6
54 14
Gustave Flaubert is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Authors
Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary

7
65 23
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
43 9
Guy de Maupassant is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Authors
Guy de Maupassant Bel Ami, Une vie, Pierre et Jean

9
53 17
Molière is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Authors
Molière Tartuffe, The Miser

10
71 30
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
51 18
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
42 13
Émile Zola is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Authors
Émile Zola Nana, Germinal, Thérèse Raquin

13
70 37
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Authors
Marcel Proust In Search of Lost Time

14
30 9
André Gide is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Authors
André Gide The Counterfeiters, The Imoralist

The Best French Language Poets of All Time

15
50 25
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Authors
Michel Houellebecq Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

16
32 11
René Descartes is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
37 15
Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean Cocteau Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus

18
39 18
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Authors
Arthur Rimbaud Illuminations

19
35 15
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Authors
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince

20
21 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
24 8
Frédéric Mistral is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Authors
Frédéric Mistral Mirèio, Coupo Santo, Calendau

The Best Novels Ever Written

22
19 4
Jean Raspail is listed (or ranked) 22 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 ...

23
27 11
Marcel Pagnol is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Authors
Marcel Pagnol The Well-Digger's Daughter, Manon Des Sources, Manon des sources

24
17 3
François-René de Chateaubriand is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added François-René de Chateaubriand Atala*, Travels in Greece, Palestine

25
17 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
18 6
Jean Racine is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean Racine Phèdre, Alexandre le Grand, Les Plaideurs

27
53 38
Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Authors
Voltaire Candide

28
15 4
Gérard de Nerval is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Authors
nietzschescode added Gérard de Nerval Les Filles du feu, Poèmes d'Outre-Rhin, Les Illuminés

The Best French Novels

29
15 5
Georges Bernanos is listed (or ranked) 29 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

30
13 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
14 5
François Mauriac is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Authors
François Mauriac Thérèse Desqueyroux, Flesh and Blood, The Holy Terror

32
14 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
15 6
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
16 7
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
19 10
Edmond Rostand is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Authors
Edmond Rostand Cyrano de Bergerac , The Story of Chanticleer

The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

36
13 5
Maurice Barrès is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Maurice Barrès The Faith of France, The sacred hill, The soul of France

37
16 8
Robert Brasillach is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Robert Brasillach A translation of Notre avant-guerre/Before the war by Robert Brasillach

38
14 7
Anatole France is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Authors
Anatole France Penguin Island, The path of glory, Rabelais

39
9 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
10 4
Georges Dumézil is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Georges Dumézil Le Livre des héros , Du mythe au roman, 4e édition

41
9 4
Roger Nimier is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Roger Nimier Elevator to the Gallows, I Vinti, Les Épées

42
13 8
George Sand is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best French Authors
George Sand Little Fadette, Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence, Lelia

20 Books to Read in Your 20s

43
14 10
Gaston Leroux is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Authors
Gaston Leroux The Phantom of the Opera, The Mystery of the Yellow Room, Le Fauteuil hanté

44
11 7
Pierre Benoit is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Pierre Benoit Hercules and the Captive Women, Atlantida, Koenigsmark

45
7 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
7 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
7 3
André Chénier is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added André Chénier Elegies and Camille

48
8 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
6 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
8 8
Antoine François Prévost is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best French Authors
Antoine François Prévost Manon Lescaut, Sacrificial Lovers Manon Lescaut and Leone Leoni, The memoirs and adventures of the Marquis de Bretagne and Duc d'Harcourt