Who are the writers with the greatest global recognition? There are numerous criteria, but one can consider which well-known authors altered the world the most through their writing or how their works affected it. Here is a list of the ten best English writers of all time. Ranking them would be impossible, but let’s get started.
- William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare, you must have heard his name or might have gone through some of his masterpieces also, he has remarkable appearances in the writing history. Shakespeare holds a special place in literary history. Shakespeare’s plays, which were written in the late 16th and early 17th centuries for a small repertory theatre, are now performed and read more frequently and in more countries than ever before. Other poets, like Homer and Dante, and novelists, like Leo Tolstoy and Charles Dickens, have also transcended national boundaries, but that can not be compared with that of Shakespeare. Shakespeare truly “was not of an age, but for all time,” as his great contemporaries Ben Jonson, a poet and playwright predicted.
- Jane Austen
Jane Austen, an English author who, via her portrayal of common people going about their daily lives, initially gave the book its essentially modern tone. Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), and Emma (1814) were the four books she authored during her lifetime (1815). She eloquently portrayed English middle-class life throughout the early 19th century in these works as well as Persuasion and Northanger Abbey (published jointly posthumously, 1817). In addition to becoming timeless classics that continued to enjoy critical acclaim and widespread success, her writings established the novel of manners for the time.
- George Orwell
Famous for his books Nineteen Eighty-four (1949), a profound anti-utopian novel that explores the risks of totalitarian authority, and Animal Farm (1945), George Orwell is an English novelist, essayist, and critic and is widely known for his work till now. Although Orwell, who was born Eric Arthur Blair, never fully renounced his birth name, his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London, was published in 1933 under the name George Orwell. His surname was derived from the beautiful River Orwell in East Anglia. Over time, his pseudonym became so intimately associated with him that only close family members knew his real name was Blair. The name change reflected Orwell’s significant lifestyle transformation from a staunch supporter of the British imperial elite to a literary and political outlaw.
- J.K Rowling
J.K. Rowling, full name Joanne Kathleen Rowling, pen name Joanne Rowling, was a British novelist who wrote the popular and much-praised Harry Potter series about a young sorcerer in training. She was born in Yate, close to Bristol, England, on July 31, 1965. Rowling began writing the Harry Potter novels in London while working for Amnesty International after earning her degree in 1986. She went to Portugal in the early 1990s to teach English as a foreign language, but she soon returned to the UK and settled in Edinburgh after a quick marriage and the birth of her daughter. She continued to compose while surviving on public assistance in between stints as a French instructor. Children were very enthusiastic about the Harry Potter series, which is credited with rekindling their love of reading. The novel adaptations were made into movies between 2001 and 2011, some of which broke all box office records. In addition, Rowling wrote the companion books Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (2001), Quidditch Through the Ages (2001), and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (2008), which were all first published as narratives read by Harry Potter and his friends in the fictional setting of the series and later adapted into a film series (2016, 2018) with screenplays by Rowling. They gave the sales revenue to a good cause. A later piece she co-wrote served as the inspiration for the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens, whose full name is Charles John Huffam Dickens, an English novelist who was widely regarded as the best of the Victorian era. Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, Hampshire, and passed away on June 9, 1870, in Gad’s Hill, close to Chatham, Kent. A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, and Our Mutual Friend are just a few of the many books he has written. In comparison to other authors, Dickens was more well-liked throughout his lifetime. His works included much that appealed to both the simple and the sophisticated, the poor and the queen, and because of technological advancements as well as the merits of his work, his popularity swiftly extended across the globe. Although there were fluctuations in the popularity and sales of specific novels over the course of his long career, none of them were insignificant, out of the ordinary, or ignored. And while he is now admired for aspects and phases of his work that were given less weight by his contemporaries, his popularity has never waned. He was more than just a wonderful comedian; he was the most comical of all English authors.
- George Eliot
English Victorian novelist George Eliot, pseudonym of Mary Ann, or Marian, Cross, née Evans, who was born on November 22, 1819, Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, England—died on December 22, 1880, London, invented the psychological analysis approach that has become a staple of contemporary fiction. Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–1872), and Daniel Deronda are some of her best-known works (1876). Eliot was allowed to spend time in the estate’s library, where she read to increase her knowledge because of her father’s significant role as the manager. Eliot accepted a post as Chapman’s Westminster Review’s assistant editor, which was significant for both her professional and personal lives. She connected with several eminent philosophers and theologians of the century through her work on the Review, including Herbert Spencer, who introduced her to philosopher and theatre critic George Henry Lewes. Although they fell in love, Lewes already had a wife from whom he was alienated; therefore, they were unable to get married.
- John Milton
John Milton is one of the most significant authors of all time. He is an English poet, pamphleteer, and historian. He was born on December 9, 1608, in London, England—died on November 8, 1674, in London. The epic poem Paradise Lost, largely regarded as the best in English, is what makes Milton most famous. It supports Milton’s status as one of the greatest English poets, along with Samson Agonistes and Paradise Regained. Milton promoted the destruction of the Church of England and the execution of Charles I in his written works.
- John Keats
English Romantic lyric poet John Keats was born on October 31, 1795–February 23, 1821, in Rome, Papal States [Italy] dedicated his brief life to the perfection of poetry characterized by vivid imagery, tremendous sensual appeal, and an effort to express a philosophy through classical mythology. “Sleep and Poetry,” which features a prophetic assessment of Keats’ own poetic development in its middle half, is the most intriguing poem in this collection. While he perceives himself to be currently engrossed in the joyful contemplation of sensual, natural beauty, he is aware that he must abandon this in order to gain an awareness of “the misery and strife of human hearts.”
9. Agatha Christie
Dame Agatha Christie is one of the best-selling authors of all time and the author whose works have been translated the most.
Over 100 million copies of her books have been sold, and they have been translated into about 100 different languages. While serving as a nurse in World War I, Christie started writing detective fiction. Hercule Poirot, a quirky and egotistic Belgian investigator, first appeared in her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). He later returned to Styles, where he died in Curtain (1975), and appeared in around 25 further books and numerous short stories.
10. Danielle Steel
Danielle Steel has authored 190 books since her debut in 1978. Her works have all achieved bestseller status, and she has experience managing up to five projects at once.
The majority of her books are romances that center on affluent families and their personal struggles, such as imprisonment, fraud, blackmail, and suicide. Jewels and Safe Harbour are two of her most well-known pieces.
Her books have been adapted for television in 22 different countries and 43 different languages, two of which have received Golden Globe nominations. In 1972, her debut book, Going Home, was released. The book focused on family concerns and interpersonal interactions, which are many of the themes for which her writing would come to be known. She has sold over 800 million books, making her the fourth-best-selling fiction author of all time and the best-selling author alive now.
The list does not end here. There are a lot of authors who have marked their names on the pages of history through their exceptional work. But it was not possible to include all of them.