Writers

The Best Writers of All Time  

Ranker Books
286.8k votes 58.6k voters 666.1k views 1,184 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
William Shakespeare is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
King Lear, Romeo & Juliet, Hamlet
2
Leo Tolstoy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
War and Peace, Anna Karenina, A Confession
3
Homer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Iliad, Odyssey
4
Ernest Hemingway is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Old Man and the Sea, Farewell to Arms, The Sun Also Rises
5
Miguel de Cervantes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Don Quixote, Entremeses
6
Fyodor Dostoyevsky is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Dimos Dicoudis added Crime and Punishment, Demons, The Idiot
7
F. Scott Fitzgerald is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added The Great Gatsby, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, This Side of Paradise
8
John Steinbeck is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
damalrooney added Lifeboat, Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath
9
Jane Austen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma
10
Anton Chekhov is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard
11
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
DavidSanders1 added The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters
12
Brothers Grimm is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Snow White and Rose Red, Rumpelstiltskin, Pied Piper of Hamelin
13
James Joyce is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Ulysses
14
Hans Christian Andersen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling, The Nightingale
15
Friedrich Nietzsche is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Merker94 added On the Genealogy of Morals, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, My Sister and I
16
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
drpaulgleason added Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice
17
Victor Hugo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
but chickens double d added Les Misérables, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Odes et Ballades
18
William Faulkner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying
19
H. G. Wells is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Things to Come
20
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 20 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
21
Charles Dickens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, Bleak House
22
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
djmenj added Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, You Only Live Twice
23
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
stubb added Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings
24
Herman Melville is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Moby Dick, Benito Cereno
25
Aldous Huxley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Writers of All Time
Polar Bear added Alice in Wonderland, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice