Most Influential Authors of All Time

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The Top Ten

1 William Shakespeare William Shakespeare William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.

Plays from the 1600s and they still have relevance today. And come on, everyone loves to use the Romeo and Juliet storyline, so of course he could be viewed as influential. - Elric-san

No fear for Shakespeare is here! - ModernSpongeBobSucks

The only writer I know..and don't like at all.

He wrote frivolous things without making sense, tragedies which are of no use at all, no morals, he was a racist and his racism and idiocy can be seen in many of his plays, such as "Merchant of venice" or " Much ado about nothing" and of course his silly garbage known as "romeo and juliet". - Ananya

2 Charles Dickens Charles Dickens
3 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Johann Wolfgang Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and ...read more.
4 J.R.R. Tolkien J.R.R. Tolkien John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973), known by his pen name J. R. R. Tolkien, was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
5 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was a British writer and physician, most noted for creating the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and writing stories about him which are generally considered milestones in the field of crime fiction.
6 Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde (16 October 1854 – 30 November 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. He is remembered for his epigrams, his novel ...read more.
7 Stephen King Stephen King Stephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy.

"Influential? " Hardly. Besides, he's basically rewritten the same story over and over and...

8 Mark Twain Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist.
9 J.K. Rowling J.K. Rowling

You're equating "popular" with "influential."

10 Agatha Christie Agatha Christie Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE was an English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright.

The Contenders

11 Margaret Atwood
12 C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewis Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was a British novelist, poet, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer, and Christian apologist. ...read more.
13 Jane Austen Jane Austen Jane Austen was an English novelist known principally for her five major novels which interpret, critique and comment upon the life of the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century.
14 John Updike
15 Peter James

English Crime hriller author. He's been my inspiration of many of my short stories. He has a wonderfully wicked mind. - Britgirl

16 Lloyd Alexander
17 Fyodor Dostoevsky Fyodor Dostoevsky Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, sometimes transliterated Dostoevsky, was a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher.
18 Leo Tolstoy Leo Tolstoy Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, usually referred to in English as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.
19 Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf Adeline Virginia Woolf, born Stephen (25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941), known professionally as Virginia Woolf, was an English writer and one of the foremost modernists of the 20th century.
20 H.P. Lovecraft H.P. Lovecraft Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author who achieved posthumous fame through his influential works of horror fiction. Virtually unknown and published only in pulp magazines before he died in poverty, he is now regarded as one of the most significant 20th-century ...read more.
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