Writers The Best Writers of All Time  

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224.6k votes 24.5k voters 402.1k 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
5,439 2,410
Fyodor Dostoevsky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Crime and Punishment, Demons, The Idiot

2
4,524 1,993
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A Confession

3
3,791 1,665
Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House

4
7,001 3,161
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet

5
2,974 1,440
Homer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Iliad, Odyssey

6
3,695 1,811
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
2,891 1,402
George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
1984, Animal Farm

8
2,918 1,418
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
2,738 1,327
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
1,856 904
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
1,955 977
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
1,782 894
Dante Alighieri is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
La Vita Nuova, Divine Comedy

13
1,411 693
Plato is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
MacAroni added The Republic, Lysis, Ion

14
1,556 774
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
2,289 1,183
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
2,360 1,231
Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Don Quixote, Entremeses

17
1,760 897
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma

18
1,862 956
Franz Kafka is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle

19
1,295 640
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
1,676 858
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
1,549 794
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
1,309 663
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
1,128 565
Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard

24
1,508 783
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
DavidSanders1 added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters

25
1,218 622
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
1,540 812
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ulysses

27
916 459
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
433 175
Charles Dickens. is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
pauleichhorn added Charles Dickens.

29
1,012 517
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
962 489
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
873 437
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
850 424
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
441 182
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
723 352
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
1,033 541
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
1,115 592
Albert Camus is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Plague, The Stranger, A Happy Death

37
961 507
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
979 518
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
970 513
Herman Melville is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Moby Dick, Benito Cereno

40
747 380
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
1,151 630
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
828 437
Sophocles is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Oedipus the King, Electra, Antigone

43
1,812 1,049
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Rocky Holmes added Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot

44
854 454
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
1,290 728
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
828 449
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
243 81
Charles Dickens. is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
pauleichhorn added Charles Dickens.

48
788 433
Dr. Seuss is listed (or ranked) 48 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

49
781 429
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
726 394
Emily Dickinson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
looksharp added The complete poems, The letters, Acts of Light: The World of Emily Dickinson