Writers The Best Writers of All Time  

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224.1k votes 24.5k voters 400.9k views 1,175 items

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 famous 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. Simply put, they're easily some of the most famous authors of all time.

This list of authors 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.

list ordered by

1
5,422 2,400
Fyodor Dostoevsky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Crime and Punishment, Demons, The Idiot

2
4,509 1,981
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A Confession

3
3,780 1,657
Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House

4
6,983 3,156
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet

5
2,968 1,434
Homer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Iliad, Odyssey

6
3,681 1,805
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion

7
2,883 1,397
George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
1984, Animal Farm

8
2,734 1,323
Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

9
2,909 1,415
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado

10
1,851 901
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades

11
1,950 975
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added The Picture of Dorian Gray, The importance of being Earnest and other plays, An Ideal Husband

12
1,779 893
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
La Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy

13
1,407 692
Plato is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
MacAroni added The Republic, Lysis, Ion

14
1,552 772
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
coolK added The Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

15
2,284 1,181
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises

16
2,356 1,231
Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Don Quixote, Entremeses

17
1,755 897
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma

18
1,858 955
Franz Kafka is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle

19
1,293 640
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Arthur Williams added The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Black Tulip

20
1,672 858
F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added The Great Gatsby, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, This Side of Paradise

21
1,547 793
John Steinbeck is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
damalrooney added Lifeboat, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath

22
1,304 663
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Arthur Williams added 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Castaways of the Flag

23
1,506 782
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
DavidSanders1 added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

24
1,123 565
Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard

25
1,214 621
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

26
1,538 811
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ulysses

27
914 458
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
SerafínGonzálezRedondo added The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Mirror Crack'd, Evil Under the Sun

28
430 174
Charles Dickens. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
pauleichhorn added Charles Dickens.

29
1,007 517
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

30
958 489
Brothers Grimm is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Snow White and Rose Red, Rumpelstiltskin, Pied Piper of Hamelin

31
870 437
H. G. Wells is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Things to Come

32
846 424
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of Ballantrae

33
439 182
Shota Rustaveli is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Georgian11 added The Knight in the Panther's Skin, Le chevalier à la peu de tigre, Vytiaz' v tyhroviǐ shkuri

34
719 351
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
stubb added Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings

35
1,031 541
William Faulkner is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying

36
1,113 592
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Plague, The Stranger, A Happy Death

37
960 507
Hans Christian Andersen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale

38
977 518
Gabriel García Márquez is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera

39
968 513
Herman Melville is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Moby Dick, Benito Cereno

40
746 380
Rudyard Kipling is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
MacAroni added The Jungle Book, Kim, The Man Who Would Be King

41
1,149 630
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, You Only Live Twice

42
1,808 1,045
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Rocky Holmes added Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot

43
826 437
Sophocles is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Oedipus the King, Electra, Antigone

44
851 454
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice

45
1,287 727
Friedrich Nietzsche is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Merker94 added On the Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, My Sister and I

46
827 449
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando: A Biography

47
725 394
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
looksharp added The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson

48
240 81
Charles Dickens. is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
pauleichhorn added Charles Dickens.

49
779 429
Hermann Hesse is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, Kurgast: Aufzeichnungen von einer Badener Kur

50
785 433
Dr. Seuss is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added The Cat in the Hat, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham