Authors The Best Writers of All Time  

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261.1k votes 29.2k voters 473.5k views 1,187 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.

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list ordered by

1
8,344 3,708
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet

2
6,595 2,913
Fyodor Dostoevsky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Crime and Punishment, Demons, The Idiot

3
5,437 2,388
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A Confession

4
4,594 2,007
Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House

5
4,514 2,152
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion

6
3,544 1,676
Homer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Iliad, Odyssey

7
3,556 1,683
George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
1984, Animal Farm

8
3,457 1,645
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado

9
3,258 1,553
Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

10
2,288 1,090
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
2,377 1,190
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
1,749 855
Plato is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
MacAroni added The Republic, Lysis, Ion

13
2,121 1,055
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
La Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy

14
1,865 920
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
DavidSanders1 added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

15
2,662 1,352
Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Don Quixote, Entremeses

16
2,745 1,397
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises

17
1,549 752
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Arthur Williams added The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Black Tulip

18
2,226 1,118
Franz Kafka is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle

19
2,122 1,063
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma

20
1,917 954
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
coolK added The Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

21
1,821 906
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
1,982 994
F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added The Great Gatsby, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, This Side of Paradise

23
1,591 783
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
687 294
Charles Dickens. is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
pauleichhorn added Charles Dickens.

25
1,204 583
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
SerafínGonzálezRedondo added The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Mirror Crack'd, Evil Under the Sun