There are countless great authors throughout history who have enthralled readers with their words. To compile a list of the greatest authors of all time is no easy task, but we’ve taken on the challenge.
Our list of the greatest authors of all time, compiled in 2023, features a wide range of writers, from classic authors like William Shakespeare to more contemporary authors like J. K. Rowling. We hope you enjoy reading about these amazing authors!
Discover the Greatest Authors of All Time
Homer, 850 BCE
Scholars debate whether Homer was one author or a collection of oral stories. However, it is now believed that there was such an author. The Iliad and The Odyssey are his most important works.
These epic poems, which describe the adventures of ancient Greeks, have shaped our understanding of their religious and social structure. They also influenced many writers who used his characters in various ways.
Many poets have used his verse forms, including Shakespeare, Chaucer, James Joyce, Star Trek and Shakespeare. We are seduced by the vividness and detail of his poems and believe he has written history. Today, we still quote Homer as if we were performing actual history.
Sophocles 496-406 BCE
Sophocles, an ancient Greek dramatist and dramatist, wrote plays that have been a model for tragic dramas by Greek and Roman writers and the modern era. He also influenced modern dramatists and playwrights in the golden age of Elizabethan drama.
Dramatically, he changed the tragic form of the play by adding another actor to the cast. This weakened the role of the chorus when the story was presented. He was the first playwright ever to show the psychological characters fully realized that form the core of Romantic and modern tragedies.
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) 70 BCE – 19 BCE
Virgil, a prolific Roman poet, is best known for his epic, Aeneid. He was to Rome what Homer is to Greece. Aeneid is the national epic of ancient Rome. It follows the fortunes and adventures of Aeneas, the Trojan refugee.
It tells the story of Rome’s founding, which has helped us understand the story and the history of Rome in the past. Writers still use it to provide the foundation of Western history and values. This is partly due to the coincidence of events in literary and political history at the time.
It was written in the 20s BC when Augustus, the first Roman Emperor, established his rule after defeating Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 CE. Virgil tells of Aeneas, the Trojan hero and the legendary ancestor of both the Romans (and, more specifically, the family of Julius Caesar), of which Augustus was a part.
The Evangelist, Mark (Author of the Gospel of St Mark) 1st Century CE
Although Mark’s identity is unknown, his monumental book, The Gospel of St Mark, was published in the year 70. It has had the most significant influence on the world of any book.
As a book of Scripture, it has been translated into more languages than any other book. It tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth. He was a Middle Eastern itinerant priest who preached, healed sick people, and exorcised demonic demons.
The Jewish establishment noticed him, and he was executed on a Roman cross. Later, he rose from the dead to become a god. Jesus was originally a fictional character and became a historical figure. He is still worshiped today by billions of Christians worldwide as the God, creator, and God of the universe.
Dante (Durante degli Alighieri) 1265-1321
Dante was an Italian poet. The Divine Comedy is his most well-known and beloved poem. It tells the story of Dante’s journey from hell to purgatory and finally to paradise.
Modern life is influenced by it because of its depiction of hell, which includes sulfurous fire and ice, where sinners suffer the most horrible torture. The Catholic Church has painted this image of eternal torture for centuries.
Geoffrey Chaucer 1343-1400
Geoffrey Chaucer is the giant of English poetry. His verse can still be enjoyed and appreciated today and is often adapted for stage performances. It’s full of characters that are still easily recognizable in everyday life, despite being inspired by people Chaucer observed over seven hundred years ago.
Francois Rabelais 1498-1553
Francois Rabelais, a French monk and doctor, was the author of several volumes of The Life of Gargantua and Pantagruel. It is a tale about a giant and his child. It is funny, amusing, and outrageous and has influenced writers such as James Joyce and Lawrence Sterne.
Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Cortinas) 1547-1616
Miguel Cervantes, a Spaniard and contemporary of Shakespeare, is undoubtedly the most excellent writer in the history, and indeed the history, of modern literature.
Don Quixote was his novel at the start of the genre’s development. However, it has been unsurpassed in both its influence and its quality by subsequent novels. It is also a guide for postmodern writers, as it contains every feature used in postmodern fiction.
John Donne 1572-1631
John Donne is a fascinating writer, both a poet and a man. His life was full of adventure, and his poetry is a remarkable feat of language.
Jacobean writer, more than or less contemporary of Shakespeare, Fletcher, and Webster but far removed from them in terms of his literary work and social class, he is now considered the preeminent poet of a kind of poetry we call the ‘Metaphysical Poets’
John Milton 1608-1674
English is sometimes called “the language of Shakespeare or Milton”. Milton’s poetry has been regarded as the best poetic expression of the English language over the past four centuries.
The epic Paradise Lost, his most well-known poem, is an example of English epic poetry. It has been incorporated into English and European culture so much that we have our ideas about heaven and hell, paradise, Adam, Satan and his legions’ battle against God, Satan and his legions, the archangel Gabriel, and all of the Genesis characters and events based on Milton’s imagination of them in this poem.
John Bunyan (1628-1688)
John Bunyan was a Baptist preacher, writer, and pastor. The Pilgrim’s Progress is his most famous work. This allegory has changed the way Christians view their faith.
It is a novel, making it the most widely read and second most popular book after the Bible. It has been translated into more languages than any other book. It is the novel with the most significant worldwide impact on literature, religion, culture, and language.
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) 1694-1778
Francois-Marie Arouet, also known as ‘Voltaire’, was a French poet, writer, pamphleteer, and philosopher. Candide, a novel, is the best-known work, and it continues to thrive in today’s world. It is taught widely in French universities and schools, as well as in French departments at universities around the world.
Martin Seymour-Smith, a British literary critic, ranked it among the 100 most influential books ever published. It is listed in the Encyclopaedia British’s Great Books of the Western World.
Modern dark satirical humorists such as Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon and Terry Southern have been influenced by the novel. Its parody style and the picaresque methods Voltaire employs have been adopted by black humorists as standard.
William Blake 1757-1827
William Blake, despite not being highly respected as a poet or painter by his contemporaries, has the distinction of being in the top ten English writers and painters.
He was disregarded because he was ahead of his time with his views and poetic style. Also, he was considered somewhat insane due to his eccentric behavior, such as his naked sunbathing in the garden of his home.
The illustrations of his poems, as well as those of Dante, Chaucer and Milton, were mocked. One reviewer called them ‘nonsense, intelligibleness, and egregious vanity’ while another called Blake an ‘unlucky lunatic’.
Jane Austen 1775 – 1817
According to the Jane Austen Centre’s website, Jane Austen is “perhaps the most well-known and loved of Bath’s many notable residents and visitors.”
It is fantastic to see the restraint displayed by Jane Austen, who is undoubtedly one of England’s greatest writers. Some even say that she is the most excellent English writer after Shakespeare.
She is also one of the most well-known English women and the most significant English novelist. Jane Austen’s many quotes are a treasure trove of insights.
Read more Top Complete List Of Jane Austen Books – Favorite Reading 2023
Hans Christian Andersen 1805-1875
Hans Christian Andersen, a Danish playwright and travel writer, poet, novelist, story writer, and writer was born in Denmark. He is considered one of the greatest writers in history for his fairy tales. Because they are written primarily for children, they transcend age barriers.
Each story touches on the most fundamental aspects of human nature and demonstrates something profound about being a human being. The Emperor’s New Clothes is his best-known short story. He uses the form to summarize a universal truth in a few words.
He illustrates the theme of wisdom, echoed by Confucious and Buddha to Jesus of Nazareth. The innocence of childhood is a way to shine a light on truths that have been obscured by experience.
Charles Dickens 1812-1870
Charles Dickens was a remarkable man. Although he is most well-known for his work as a novelist, he was much more. While he was equally prominent in his other pursuits, they are not areas where we still see him today.
We know him as the author of classics such as Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, Bleakhouse, Bleak House, Bleak House, and many other works. His novels are all English classics.
Herman Melville 1819-1891
American author of short stories, novels and poems, Herman Melville was born in 1875. His most famous works include the novel Moby-Dick, and Typee, a romantic account of his experiences in Polynesian culture.
Moby-Dick’s whaling novel, Moby-Dick, is often referred to as “the great American novel” and “vying with Scott Fitgerald’s The Great Gatsby or Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn for this title.”
Gustave Flaubert 1821-1880
Gustave Flaubert was a French novelist, most notably the leading exponent of literary realism in French literature. Madame Bovary (1857) is his most famous work. Flaubert had a profound influence on the subsequent novels.
James Wood, a critic, said that Flaubert profoundly influenced subsequent novels. He emphasized the importance of literary realism and highlighted the benefits of vivid detail, visual effect and unsentimental composure.
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky 1821-1881
Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, a Russian journalist, novelist, short story writer and philosopher, was also an essayist. His literary works examine psychology in the political and social turmoil of Russia’s 19th Century. His writings cover a broad range of religious and philosophical themes.
Dostoyevsky’s novels include The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot. But his most famous works are Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.
His legacy is still felt a century and a half later, with many scholars studying his works. Russian websites are filled with Dostoyevsky-related discussions. Every corner of St Petersburg has a Dostoyevsky website.
Jules Verne 1828-1905
Jules Verne, a French playwright, poet and novelist, is credited with his futuristic adventure novels. His influence on science fiction writing has been incalculable. He is often called the father and mother of science fiction.
Perhaps more interesting is his role as a prophet and predictor of technology, which was not to be invented until much later. He launched a man to the moon from a Florida launchpad and then dropped it in the Pacific. In 1863, he predicted the internet.
Paris in the 20th Century (1863) depicts modern life, including skyscrapers and televisions, Maglev trains, computers and a culture obsessed with the internet. Verne’s novels foretell world wars, chemical warfare and the rise of a madman from Germany intent on dominating the world.
Leo Tolstoy (Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy) 1828-1910
Russian novelist Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy. His two greatest novels, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are widely accepted as realist fiction.
He is often cited as one of the greatest novelists ever, so it is no surprise that he has earned a place on this list. He is one of the two greats of Russian literature. Dostoyevsky described him as the greatest living novelist.
Emily Dickinson 1830-1886
Many consider Emily Dickinson one of America’s most influential poets, something she was not known for during her lifetime. Many other writers have been inspired by her poetry, including the Brontes. Harold Bloom listed her as one of the 26 central writers of Western Civilisation in 1994.
Her sister discovered the nearly two thousand poems the poet had written after she passed away. Her eccentric and reclusive nature was the focus of her public reception.
Still, she is now a well-respected, original, and influential poet. Her sister could access the poems, which is a blessing as American culture would be very different without them.
Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) 1832-1898
Lewis Carroll was an English mathematician, English academic and Anglican deacon. His most famous works are Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass. His brilliant wordplay, absurd logic, and fantasy are his trademarks. He is credited with inventing the literary nonsense genre.
These are children’s books, and they are very Victorian. Modern times have many children’s authors who are record-breaking, like J.C. Rowling.
However, fifty years after Alice was published, no other British children’s author has achieved the same sales or fame. Lewis Carroll is perhaps the most well-known English literary name after Shakespeare.
James Joyce 1882-1941
James Joyce, an Irish novelist, was best known for Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. He is considered one of the most important and influential writers of the 20th Century.
Ulysses, a seminal work, is where Homer’s Odyssey is juxtaposed in various episodes and literary styles. The collection of short stories by Joyce Dubliners is considered one of the most significant collections of stories of the Century.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), his first novel, marks a new era of British fiction. Finnegans Wake, renowned for its complexity, depth, and richness, was published in 1916. Samuel Becket stated, “His writing doesn’t concern something.” It is the very thing itself.
Franz Kafka 1883-1924
Franz Kafka, a Czech short story writer and novelist, wrote in German. His name is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in 20th-century literature. His protagonists are solitary characters who find themselves in bizarre or surreal situations and dealing with bureaucracies that are not understandable.
The theme of guilt, alienation and anxiety are explored in work. The prose is filled with torture, descriptions of wounds and anguish, disorientation, sadomasochism and unexplained cruelty.
It also features the appearance of rodents, beetles, and other grotesque creatures, all set against a backdrop of despair and utter hopelessness.
T.S. Eliot 1888-1965
Thomas Stearns Eliot, an American-born British poet, essayist and playwright, was now considered one of the most important poets of the 20th Century.
He was awarded more awards than any other writer in the past two centuries. These included the Nobel prize and the Dante Gold Medal, the Goethe Prize, the US Medal of Freedom, the British Order of Merit, and the Goethe Prize.
F Scott Fitzgerald 1896-1940
Francis Scott Fitzgerald, an American novelist, was widely regarded as one the most important, if not the best, American writers of 20th-century America.
His novel, The Great Gatsby, is his most well-known. It competes with Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick for the title of ‘Great American Novel.
Read more best books of F. Scott. Fitzgerald
Jorge Luis Borges 1899-1986
Jorge Luis Borges, an Argentine writer, translated poems, essays, literary criticism, and short fiction is what made him famous.
Even the most passionate admirers of this Argentine writer would find it difficult to describe his writing or explain it. His work inspired many writers, but none have been able to capture the magic of his writings.
Although he wrote poetry, his prose is what is most famous and remembered. These are short pieces that one might call stories, but which he called fiction.
George Orwell 1903-1950
Eric Blair was also known as George Orwell. He was a writer of the twentieth Century who was equally comfortable writing essays, novels and literary criticism.
While he was well-known in all these areas, he will be remembered most for his novels Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, two of the most important and influential works of literature of the twentieth Century. Many of George Orwell’s quotes have been used in English as new phrases and are well-known.
Gabriel Garcia Marques 1927-2014
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Colombian screenwriter, journalist and novelist, was affectionately known as Gabo or Gabito among South American writers and readers.
He gave a distinct voice to the continent. In 1982, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. It is widely believed that One Hundred Years of Solitude was the novel that won it.
Other Best Writers Of All Time
Hemingway’s influence on American literature is unparalleled, from The Old Man and the Sea to The Sun Also Rises. Read more Top 11 Best Ernest Hemingway Books Of All Time Review 2023.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is best known for his One Hundred Years of Solitude. He writes beautiful fiction.
Steinbeck examines the human condition under challenging times, whether he is exploring the intricacies of living during The Great Depression in The Grapes of Wrath and biblical allegory East of Eden.
Atwood is a science and dystopian fiction guru. His novel The Handmaid’s Tale tells the terrifying story of a dystopian future set in Gilead. It’s just one of many riveting reads.
Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes is the best mystery, and Arthur Conan Doyle is the perfect addition.
Christie is a prolific mystery writer who has written over 50 mystery novels and short stories like Murder on the Orient Express, And Then There Were None. Read more Top 12 Best Agatha Christie Books Of All Time Review 2023
Daphne du Maurier
Daphne du Maurier, who wrote the book that shaped mystery history’s most important chapters with Rebecca, is a strong force in her leadership position.
Mary Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark is a bestseller with millions and millions of book sales. Her debut Where Are the Children? was a huge success. It has been published well over 50 times.
Gillian Flynn is an excellent example of an unreliable heroine. She has her bestseller Gone Girl and her hugely popular Sharp Objects.
Stephen King’s style and repertoire are unmatched, from Pet Sematary to The Shining.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is the only horror genre that doesn’t exist.
Without Shelley’s famous Frankenstein, no one would have heard of the tale of a man-made from pieces.
Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe’s writings include The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Raven.
Anne Rice’s famous series The Vampire Chronicles paved the way for modern vampire stories.
Flannery O’Connor’s short stories and fiction won her the National Book Award for Her Complete Stories collection. This award demonstrates her incredible talent.
Gaiman is well-known for his intricately woven stories. His Fragile collection things showcase some of his finest work. Read more Top 16 Best Neil Gaiman Books of All Time Review 2023
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie is a brilliant essayist and novelist. She is also an exceptional short story writer, particularly in The Thing Around Your Neck.
Whether reading The Lorax or Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss’s books are essential for children’s literature. With his books and the funny and thoughtful Dr. Seuss quotations, Dr. Seuss has inspired millions of people all over the globe. Read more Top 30 Best Dr. Seuss Books of All Time Review 2023
Junot Diaz’s short fiction was published in The New Yorker. He also won several awards. Although his short stories are primarily available online, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Brief Wondrous Lives of Oscar Wao, is an excellent place for you to start.
George R.R. Martin
Martin’s Westeros world is unmatched in literary scope and world influence. He tells an epic tale of the struggle between the shifting tides of time, family, and literature.
J.K. Rowling’s brainchild, the Hogwarts halls and a lightning-scarred boy’s adventures brought millions joy.
L’Engle masterfully combines fantasy, science and religious undertones in her books, ranging from A Wrinkle in Time to A Ring of Endless Light.
Dahl is a master of childhood adventures, whether rolling in a giant peach with James the Giant Peach or diving into books and magic alongside Matilda.
Gabaldon’s Outlander series is full of romance, magic, and fantasy.
Bemelmans has captured the hearts of readers worldwide with the adventures and stories of Madeline, a French girl.
Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia offers more than just a wardrobe. Adventures and challenges are waiting for you. Read more Top 16 Best C. S. Lewis Books of All Time Review 2023
It is difficult to imagine popular culture without the epic story that revolves around a particular ring. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series makes this possible.
Didion is a distinctive writer of memoirs, and her distinctive voice makes her one of the best of her generation.
Nora Ephron is known for her intelligent style and wit. Many of her finest writings can be found in The Most of Nora Ephron.
There are over 200 books by Nora Roberts. They have everything you need for romance, including the romantic Bride Quartet and the suspenseful Tribute.
Bill Martin, Jr.
Martin’s books are everywhere, from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Boom to Brown Bear, What Do You see?
Frank McCourt’s memoirs are perhaps best-known for Angela’s Ashes. They explore childhood and coming of age.
Anthony Bourdain was a long-time participant in the culinary world. His memoirs tell of his years of experience and the lives that he led.
Mary Karr is the author of The Liars Club, a hit memoir. She also teaches memoir writing and has published a book called The Art of Memoir.
Hawking is a brilliant mind, and his scientific insights in The Theory of Everything (and A Brief History of Time) are legendary.
Krakauer’s tragic climb up Mount Everest was told in Into Thin Air. This book captured the attention of millions of readers. He also wrote about the beautiful, tragic and adventurous stories of others in books such as Into the Wild or Under the Banner of Heaven.
Ray Bradbury is a master of science fiction and dystopian literature, from Fahrenheit 451 through Something Wicked This Way comes.
Ron Chernow, a Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer, has written many incredible epic histories and biographies. His most famous works include Alexander Hamilton, which was influential in the musical, and Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr.
Meacham is an incredible biographer who has written books about every president, from George H.W. to Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Bush, Thomas Jefferson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill.
Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, one of the most influential feminist writings ever created, is a must-read.
Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings created a dynamic duo that wrote hilarious, saucy romantic fiction. Some fan favorites were Love, Other Words, and Dating You/Hating You.
The rise of modern romance can be attributed to Nicholas Sparks’ blockbuster bestsellers, From The Notebook to A Walk to Remember. Read more Top 22 Best Nicholas Sparks Books of All Time Review 2023
Huxley was a prolific essayist and novelist. His most famous novel, Brave New World, is an icon.
Giffin is a pioneer in this genre with books such as Where We Belong and Something Borrowed, which explore relationships beyond romantic.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Taylor Jenkins Reid is a constant innovator, always looking for new ways to reinvent the romance trope.
Orson Scott Card
Orson Scott Card is most famous for his excellent Ender’s Game series. He has also written magic science fiction for both young and old readers.
Andy Weir, a science fiction novelist of the modern age, is known for his novel The Martian. Matt Damon starred in it.
The list of the greatest authors of all time is a matter of opinion. However, there are certain authors who are considered to be the best by many people. These authors have made a significant impact on literature and have left a lasting legacy. Thank you for reading and considering the following authors as the greatest of all time.