writers The Best Writers of All Time  

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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 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.

This list 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
4.094 1.926
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
William Shakespeare King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet

Famous People Who Were Raised By Single Mothers 20 Books to Read in Your 20s

2
2.533 1.160
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A Confession

3
3.157 1.469
Fyodor Dostoevsky is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Fyodor Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment, Demons, The Idiot

4
2.197 1.004
Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Charles Dickens Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House

5
2.219 1.097
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion

6
1.776 862
Homer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Homer Iliad, Odyssey

7
1.755 863
George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
George Orwell 1984, Animal Farm

8
1.576 769
Mark Twain is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

9
1.111 520
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Victor Hugo Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades

10
1.750 868
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Edgar Allan Poe The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Cask of Amontillado

11
1.037 504
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jane Austen Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma

12
1.434 729
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises

13
1.214 607
Oscar Wilde is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray, The importance of being Earnest and other plays, An Ideal Husband

14
886 432
Arthur Conan Doyle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
coolK added Arthur Conan Doyle The Lost World, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

15
768 364
Plato is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
MacAroni added Plato The Republic, Lysis, Ion

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16
1.084 548
F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, This Side of Paradise

17
1.186 614
Franz Kafka is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Franz Kafka The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle

18
997 504
John Steinbeck is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
damalrooney added John Steinbeck Lifeboat, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath

19
1.020 521
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
James Joyce Ulysses

20
1.761 974
Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, Entremeses

21
1.115 589
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Dante Alighieri La Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy

22
817 413
Alexandre Dumas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Arthur Williams added Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Black Tulip

23
928 483
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
DavidSanders1 added C. S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

24
844 434
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Arthur Williams added Jules Verne 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Castaways of the Flag

25
719 372
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added Roald Dahl Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, You Only Live Twice

26
433 195
Agatha Christie is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
SerafínGonzálezRedondo added Agatha Christie The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Mirror Crack'd, Evil Under the Sun

27
706 370
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Albert Camus The Plague, The Stranger, A Happy Death

28
1.036 592
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Rocky Holmes added Stephen King Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot

29
644 342
Herman Melville is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Herman Melville Moby Dick, Benito Cereno

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30
515 260
H. G. Wells is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added H. G. Wells The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Things to Come

31
639 340
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

32
589 310
Brothers Grimm is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Brothers Grimm Snow White and Rose Red, Rumpelstiltskin, Pied Piper of Hamelin

33
669 362
William Faulkner is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying

34
520 267
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Mary Shelley Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice

35
721 401
Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Anton Chekhov Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard

36
544 289
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of Ballantrae

37
525 280
Virginia Woolf is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando: A Biography

38
708 403
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Faust, The Sorrows of Young Werther, Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship

39
460 244
Harper Lee is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird

40
365 180
Charlotte Brontë is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
stubb added Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre

41
587 332
Gabriel García Márquez is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Gabriel García Márquez One Hundred Years of Solitude, Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera

42
569 320
Sophocles is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Sophocles Oedipus the King, Electra, Antigone

43
573 323
Aldous Huxley is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Polar Bear added Aldous Huxley Alice in Wonderland, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice

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44
806 484
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added J. K. Rowling Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

45
546 307
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov Lolita, Machenka, The Defense

46
455 246
Rudyard Kipling is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
MacAroni added Rudyard Kipling The Jungle Book, Kim, The Man Who Would Be King

47
642 375
Hans Christian Andersen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Hans Christian Andersen The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale

48
393 204
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
stubb added Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings

49
430 230
Jonathan Swift is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella

50
414 219
Jack London is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Jack London The Call of the Wild, White Fang, John Barleycorn