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
Homer’s authorship is disputed. However, such an author is now believed. His masterpieces are The Iliad and The Odyssey.
These epic poems about ancient Greek adventures have affected our knowledge of their religion and society. They impacted many writers who adapted his characters.
Shakespeare, Chaucer, James Joyce, Star Trek, and many other poets have used his poetic styles. His rich poems convince us he wrote history. Today, we quote Homer like history.
Sophocles 496-406 BCE
Ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles influenced Greek, Roman, and modern tragic dramas. He influenced Elizabethan dramatists and playwrights.
He added an actor to the play to make it tragic. This diminished the chorus’s plot role. He was the first dramatist to completely comprehend the psychological characters that drive Romantic and modern tragedies.
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) 70 BCE – 19 BCE
Virgil wrote the epic Aeneid. Rome’s Homer. Rome’s national epic is Aeneid. It follows Trojan refugee Aeneas.
It explains Rome’s history by recounting its founding. Writers utilize it to establish Western history and ideals. Literary and political developments of the period contributed to this.
After defeating Antony at the Battle of Actium in 31 CE, Augustus became the first Roman Emperor in the 20s BC. Aeneas, the Trojan hero and fabled progenitor of the Romans and Julius Caesar’s dynasty, of whom Augustus was a member, is told by Virgil.
The Evangelist, Mark (Author of the Gospel of St Mark) 1st Century CE
The Gospel of St. Mark was published in 70, but Mark’s name is uncertain. It’s the most influential book ever.
It is the most translated Bible book. It recounts Jesus of Nazareth. He preached, cured, and exorcised demons.
He was crucified by the Jewish community. He became a god after resurrecting. Jesus became historical from fiction. Today, billions of Christians adore him as the creator, God, and universe.
Dante (Durante degli Alighieri) 1265-1321
Italian poet Dante. His most popular poetry is The Divine Comedy. It follows Dante from hell to purgatory to paradise.
Its picture of hell, with sulfurous fire and ice, where sinners suffer the worst punishment, influences modern life. For millennia, Catholics have depicted endless suffering.
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
Poet and guy John Donne is fascinating. His poetry is amazing, and he lived an exciting life.
Jacobean writer, more or less contemporary of Shakespeare, Fletcher, and Webster but much apart from them in literary work and social position, he is now considered the foremost Metaphysical Poet.
John Milton 1608-1674
“The language of Shakespeare or Milton” is English. Milton’s poetry has been the best English language poetry for 400 years.
His best-known work, Paradise Lost, is English epic poetry. It has been so ingrained in English and European culture that we base our ideas about heaven and hell, paradise, Adam, Satan and his legions’ battle against God, the archangel Gabriel, and all of Genesis’ characters and events on Milton’s poem.
John Bunyan (1628-1688)
Baptist preacher, writer, and pastor John Bunyan. His best-known work is The Pilgrim’s Progress. This allegory altered Christian faith.
The Bible is the most read book, but this novel is second. It has the most translations. It influenced literature, religion, society, and language globally.
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet) 1694-1778
Voltaire was a French poet, writer, pamphleteer, and philosopher. The most famous work, Candide, is still popular today. French universities, schools, and French departments worldwide teach it.
British literary critic Martin Seymour-Smith listed it among the 100 most influential works. Encyclopaedia British’s Great Books of the Western World lists it.
The novel impacted Kurt Vonnegut, Thomas Pynchon, and Terry Southern. Black humorists use Voltaire’s picaresque and parody approach.
William Blake 1757-1827
Despite his contemporaries’ disdain, William Blake is one of the top 10 English poets and painters.
Because of his forward-thinking beliefs and poetry, he was ignored. His odd habits, such as naked sunbathing in his lawn, made him seem insane.
Dante, Chaucer, and Milton’s poems and paintings were derided. One reviewer termed them ‘nonsense, intelligibleness, and flagrant vanity’ and Blake a ‘unlucky maniac’.
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.
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
Russian journalist, novelist, short story writer, and philosopher Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky wrote essays. His 19th-century Russian literature explores psychology. His publications address many religious and philosophical topics.
Dostoyevsky wrote The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot. Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov are his best-known novels.
Scholars study his writings 150 years after. Russian websites debate Dostoyevsky. St Petersburg has Dostoyevsky websites everywhere.
Jules Verne 1828-1905
Playwright, poet, and author Jules Verne wrote futuristic adventure books. His impact on science fiction is incalculable. Science fiction’s father and mother.
His role as a technological prophet is more intriguing. He launched a guy to the moon from Florida and dropped him in the Pacific. Internet prediction in 1863.
Paris in the 20th Century (1863) shows skyscrapers, televisions, Maglev trains, computers, and an internet-obsessed culture. Verne’s writings predict world wars, chemical warfare, and a German maniac who wants to rule the globe.
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
Emily Dickinson is today considered America’s most influential poet. Her poems influenced the Brontes and others. Harold Bloom named her one of Western Civilization’s 26 key writers in 1994.
After her death, her sister found approximately two thousand poems. Her eccentricity and reclusivity drew attention.
She remains a respected, creative, and important poet. Her sister could read the poetry, which is good because American society would be different without them.
Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) 1832-1898
English mathematician, intellectual, and Anglican deacon Lewis Carroll. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are his best-known works. His trademarks include fantasy, strange reasoning, and great wordplay. He invented literary nonsense.
Victorian children’s books. Like J.C. Rowling, modern children’s authors set records.
However, fifty years after Alice’s publication, no British children’s novelist has attained the same sales or fame. The most famous English writer is Lewis Carroll after Shakespeare.
James Joyce 1882-1941
James Joyce’s Ulysses and Finnegans Wake were famous. He was one of the most influential 20th-century novelists.
Homer’s Odyssey is juxtaposed in Ulysses. Joyce’s Dubliners is one of the century’s greatest short story collections.
His debut work, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), launched British literature. In 1916, Finnegans Wake was published. Samuel Becket said, “His writing doesn’t concern something.” It’s itself.
Franz Kafka 1883-1924
Franz Kafka wrote in German. His influence on 20th-century literature is well known. His protagonists are lone figures who encounter strange situations and incomprehensible bureaucracies.
Work explores guilt, estrangement, and anxiety. Torture, wounds, misery, disorientation, sadomasochism, and unexplained cruelty dominate the prose.
Rodents, bugs, and other strange critters appear against a desolate landscape.
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
Orwell was Eric Blair. He wrote articles, novels, and literary criticism.
He was well-known in all these areas, but he is best recognized for his novels Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm, two of the most influential masterpieces of 20th-century literature. George Orwell’s quotes have become popular English expressions.
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.