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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
115 40
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best French Authors
Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

2
126 51
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best French Authors
The Plague, The Stranger, The Myth of Sisyphus

3
92 31
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best French Authors
The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers

4
97 35
Honoré de Balzac is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best French Authors
Le Père Goriot, Eugénie Grandet, Cousin Bette

5
112 49
Louis-Ferdinand Céline is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean-marieGerard added Journey to the End of the Night, Death on Credit, Œuvres de Louis Ferdinand Céline

6
66 21
Gustave Flaubert is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best French Authors
Madame Bovary

7
58 16
Émile Zola is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best French Authors
Nana, Germinal, Thérèse Raquin

8
79 30
Charles Baudelaire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best French Authors
Les Fleurs du Mal, Le Spleen de Paris

9
63 20
Molière is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best French Authors
Tartuffe, The Miser

10
55 15
Guy de Maupassant is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best French Authors
Bel Ami, Une vie, Pierre et Jean

11
86 37
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best French Authors
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, A Journey to the Center of the Earth

12
84 40
Marcel Proust is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best French Authors
In Search of Lost Time

13
43 12
René Descartes is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best French Authors
nietzschescode added Meditations on First Philosophy, Discourse on the Method, Rules for the Direction of the Mind

14
58 23
Stendhal is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best French Authors
The Red and the Black, The Charterhouse of Parma, Spicy food

15
50 18
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best French Authors
The Little Prince

16
49 18
Arthur Rimbaud is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best French Authors
Illuminations

17
36 10
André Gide is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best French Authors
The Counterfeiters, The Imoralist

18
60 28
Michel Houellebecq is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best French Authors
Platform, Whatever, H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World

19
71 39
Voltaire is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best French Authors
Candide

20
41 16
Jean Cocteau is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best French Authors
Beauty and the Beast, Orpheus

21
23 6
François Villon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Œuvres, Die lasterhaften Balladen und Lieder, Le grant testament Villon et le petit Son codicille. Le jargon. Les balades

22
23 7
Jean Racine is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best French Authors
Phèdre, Alexandre le Grand, Les Plaideurs

23
20 5
Chrétien de Troyes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Yvain, the Knight of the Lion, Erec and Enide

24
20 5
Jean Raspail is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Camp of the Saints, L' anneau du pécheur, Qui se souvient des hommes ...

25
24 9
Frédéric Mistral is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best French Authors
Mirèio, Coupo Santo, Calendau

26
18 5
François-René de Chateaubriand is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Atala*, Travels in Greece, Palestine

27
27 13
Marcel Pagnol is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best French Authors
The Well-Digger's Daughter, Manon Des Sources, Manon des sources

28
16 5
Gérard de Nerval is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best French Authors
nietzschescode added Les Filles du feu, Poèmes d'Outre-Rhin, Les Illuminés

29
19 8
George Sand is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best French Authors
Little Fadette, Flaubert-Sand: The Correspondence, Lelia

30
22 11
Edmond Rostand is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best French Authors
Cyrano de Bergerac , The Story of Chanticleer

31
15 5
François Mauriac is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best French Authors
Thérèse Desqueyroux, Flesh and Blood, The Holy Terror

32
15 5
Georges Bernanos is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Under the Sun of Satan, Essais et écrits de combat, Le crépuscule des vieux

33
14 5
Alphonse Daudet is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Leopard, Las Aventuras de Jack, Fromont the younger and Risler the elder

34
14 5
Pierre Drieu La Rochelle is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Man on Horseback, Chronique politique, 1934-1942

35
15 6
Arthur de Gobineau is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Gobineau: selected political writings, Les dépêches diplomatiques du comte de Gobineau en Perse, Ce qui est arrive a la France en 1870

36
16 7
Paul Morand is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added An exhibition of sculpture by Brancusi, Ci-gît Sophie Dorothée de Celle, De la vitesse

37
15 7
Anatole France is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best French Authors
Penguin Island, The path of glory, Rabelais

38
16 8
Robert Brasillach is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added A translation of Notre avant-guerre/Before the war by Robert Brasillach

39
13 6
Maurice Barrès is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Faith of France, The sacred hill, The soul of France

40
9 3
Jacques Perret is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Jacques Perret Ernest le Rebelle, Le caporal épinglé, Role de Plaisance

41
10 4
Georges Dumézil is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Georges Dumézil Le Livre des héros , Du mythe au roman, 4e édition

42
17 11
Gaston Leroux is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best French Authors
The Phantom of the Opera, The Mystery of the Yellow Room, Le Fauteuil hanté

43
5 0
Boris Vian is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best French Authors
PerrineLeBalc'h added The Red Grass, Autres écrits sur le jazz, I Spit on Your Graves

44
9 4
Roger Nimier is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Elevator to the Gallows, I Vinti, Les Épées

45
11 7
Pierre Benoit is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Pierre Benoit Hercules and the Captive Women, Atlantida, Koenigsmark

46
7 3
Alfred de Vigny is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added Servitude and grandeur of arms, Servitude et grandeur militaires, Chatterton

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

48
7 4
Antoine Blondin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added The Secrets of the Bed, Last Leap, Obsession

49
7 4
Paul Bourget is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best French Authors
Mollevangsvagen added L'étape, Le démon de midi, André Cornélis

50
8 6
Raymond Radiguet is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best French Authors
Jean-marieGerard added The devil in the flesh, Les joues en feu, Le Diable au corps