Numerous authors have had a lasting impact on the literary world throughout literature’s history, affecting readers of all ages and influencing the development of literature itself. These remarkable authors have created stories and storylines that have stood the test of time and still have readers today, whether they are timeless classics or ground-breaking modern works. In this article, we honor some of the greatest writers who have ever lived and whose works have stood as pillars of literary brilliance.
The type of literature we are discussing also needs to be considered, especially if Shakespeare is listed as a single of the significant writers. Shakespeare belongs to the genre of fiction writers, thus in order to identify our top authors, we ought to look at other fiction authors whose works have a similar impact as William Shakespeare’s. It should be obvious that all of the authors on our list of the top thirty writers are fiction writers.
Our criteria will be that these individuals should be poets, playwrights, and prose fiction authors who had a major impact on either the subsequent generations of writers or the course of society.
1. Geoffrey Chaucer 1343-1400
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The greatest poet to have ever written in English is Geoffrey Chaucer. His poetry continues to be read and cherished today, and it is frequently adapted for theatrical productions. Despite being based on individuals Chaucer witnessed over seven hundred years ago, it is full of personalities that are still recognizable as kids we face in daily life. In the midst of undoubtedly raucous laughing, Chaucer was penning poems and reading them out in court.
The Tales of Canterbury, a collection of fictitious stories related to travelers traveling to Canterbury, is his most well-known work.
Chaucer not only had a significant impact on English literature but also on the evolution of the English language.
2. Voltaire 1694-1778
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Voltaire was the pen name of François-Marie Arouet, a French philosopher, poet, pamphleteer, and fiction writer. The literary masterpiece that has endured the longest and is still relevant today is the novel Candide. It is extensively taught in French-speaking schools, universities, and university departments all around the world. Martin Seymour-Smith, a British literary critic, listed it among the top 100 works that have influenced culture.
It is listed among the Great Books of the Western World in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The book has impacted contemporary dark satirical humorists including Kurt Vonnegut, Joseph Heller, Thomas Pynchon, and Terry Southern. Its style of parody and the picaresque techniques Voltaire employs have come to be recognized by black humorists as standard procedures.
3. William Blake 1757- 1827
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As his day job, Blake pursued schooling as an illustrator and engraver. He composed his poems in the interim. In terms of his beliefs, he fiercely disagreed with institutionalized religion and how it restricted normal human behavior, such as sex. He particularly charges the church with doing that in a single of his poems, The Garden of Love.
He encounters “priests in black gowns walking their rounds/And binding with briars my joys and desires” while strolling through the Garden of Love. Blake wrote poetry about the dreadful occurrence of chimney sweeps, beggars, and the inequalities of social inequity decades before Charles Dickens’ brilliant works that highlighted the misery of the poor.
4. Jane Austen 1775- 1817
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Given that Jane Austen is unquestionably one of the best English writers—some argue the greatest after Shakespeare—the greatest English novelist, and one of the most well-known English people to have ever lived, one is perplexed by the restraint in that statement.
Quotes from Jane Austen’s numerous writings that reveal her insights are truly remarkable. One needs to wonder why her books have endured and are still read widely. There will be hours of enjoyment and plenty of laughter when one lays down with a Jane Austen-inspired book, that much is clear.
5. Charles Dickens 1812- 1870
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The writer Charles Dickens was a remarkable individual. Although he was much more than just a novelist, that is how he is best known. Even though we can no longer see him in those parts of his life, he was just equally prominent in his other endeavors. We recognize him as the author of numerous literary classics, including Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and Bleak House. His books are all considered English classics.
Dickens had a level of vigor that was almost amazing. He found time to take on what would be considered full-time occupations for most people, including acting, literary editing, social advocacy, and charity management, as well as to writing all those huge works in longhand.
6. Emily Dickinson 1830- 1886
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While Emily Dickinson was renowned as a poet in her lifetime, she is now acknowledged by many as one of the most influential figures in American culture. Many authors, notably the Brontes, have been influenced by her poetry. She was named one of the twenty-six key writers of Western civilization by critic Harold Bloom in 1994.
After she passed away, her sister discovered the poet’s nearly 2000 poems. The initial reactions to her poetry focused on her quirky, secretive personality, but since then, she has gained recognition as a distinctive and potent poet. It’s lucky that her sister was able to access the poetry since American culture would’ve suffered greatly without it.
7. Lewis Caroll 1832- 1898
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Lewis Carroll was an academic, mathematician, and deacon of the Anglican Church in England. His two most well-known works are Through the Looking-Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. He is renowned for his fantastical writing, clever wordplay, and absurd logic. He created the literary nonsense subgenre.
The children’s books have a really Victorian feel to them. A century and fifty years after the release of Alice, no other British children’s novelist has surpassed him in terms of sales or fame. Today, there are record-breaking children’s authors like J.C. Rowling. After Shakespeare, the name “Lewis Carroll” is undoubtedly the most recognized in all of English literature.
8. Franz Kafka 1883- 1924
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The writer Franz Kafka was a German-language author of short stories and novels from the Czech Republic. He is recognized by many as among the key authors of the 20th century. His heroes are lone individuals caught in absurd or weird situations with unfathomable bureaucracies. The piece examines estrangement, guilt, and anxiety as themes.
Situations resembling those in Kafka’s books and stories are referred to as “Kafkaesque” in English. He is most recognized for his short story The Metamorphosis and the novel The Trial. His distinctive corpus of work, much of which is unfinished and was released after his death, is among the most important in Western literature.
9. George Orwell 1903- 1950
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Eric Blair, a writer of the 20th century equally at home in reporting, essays, novels, literary criticism, and social commentary, wrote under the pen name George Orwell. In fact, many of George Orwell’s quotations from his writings are now well-known and are repurposed to create fresh English expressions.
The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is a careful study of the working class in the north of England; Down and Out in Paris and London (1933) relates the tale of life as a vagrant in those two wealthy cities; Homage to Catalonia (1938) is an account of his participation in the Spanish Civil War.
10. Gabriel Gracia Marques 1927- 2014
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The authors and readers of Latin America, the continent to which he offered a distinctive voice, lovingly called the Colombian novelist, screenwriter, and journalist Gabriel Garcia Márquez by the nicknames Gabo or Gabito. He won the Alfred Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, and One Hundred Years of Solitude, his best-known book, is usually regarded as the book that made the difference.
One of his greatest strengths as a novel and short tale author is that his writing is extremely readable by the general public and meets the standards of the most discerning reviewers and academics. The majority of the books are set in rural Columbia where ancient and contemporary practices and beliefs collide.
The greatest writers in history have left a lasting legacy, with their works resonating through the years and captivating readers of all ages. These literary giants have influenced the literary landscape with their artistry, insight, and storytelling prowess, from the timeless brilliance of Shakespeare to the introspective brilliance of Woolf, the transformational narratives of Austen, Tolstoy, Dickens, and Dostoevsky, among others. Their writings stand as a tribute to literature’s eternal ability to spark curiosity, evoke strong feelings, and offer a window into the complexity of the human condition.