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Your Top 20 English Authors of all Time

By April 23, 2016April 22nd, 2018Discussion and Recommendations

We like our lists of recommendations here at For Reading Addicts especially those that are dependent on the views of our followers as to us, they are the true marker of which authors are really important to us avid readers and in the end we are the only ones ho should matter to authors everywhere as without readers, authors are nothing are they? Our top 20 English Authors poll is no different and the authors listed below are those chosen by you, our loyal fans.

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare is probably the most famous playwright in history and is the author of roughly 38 plays. He quite rightfully tops our poll of favourite English Authors.

Complete Shakespeare US
Complete Shakespeare UK

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Charlotte Brontë

Ahhh those sisters had to be included didn’t they? The eldest, Charlotte is the top polled of the 3 but all got mentioned as a favourite of yours.

Jane Eyre US
Jane Eyre UK

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Sir Terry Pratchett

The loss of sir Terry in 2015 will be felt in the literary world for years to come; his unique writing style had so many of you hooked with his Discworld novels.

The Colour of Magic US
The Colour of Magic UK

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Agatha Christie

Born in Torquay Devon, Agatha was the quintessential English eccentric author. She wrote 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections and her characters have become much loved favourites of many of us.

And Then There Were None US
And Then There Were None UK

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Jane Austen

Although she is the author of five novels, Pride and Prejudice is probably the one Jane is best known for and your love for this book places her in a solid fifth position in our English authors poll.

Pride and Prejudice US
Pride and Prejudice UK

Review of Pride and Prejudice



Charles Dickens

Regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era, Dickens is renowned for his larger than life characters and his unflinching portrayals of Victorian England.

 A Tale of Two Cities US
 A Tale of Two Cities UK

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George Orwell

Although born in India, Eric Arthur Blair, the real name of George Orwell makes it into this poll as an English author as that is how he is identified by the literary world and the fact that India at the time of his birth was under British rule.

1984 US
1984 UK

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J. R. R. Tolkien

Another author who is not, in the strictest sense, English is Tolkien. Born to English parents in South Africa he came to England at the age of three and is to all intents and purposes English except for his birth and is definitely English enough for this poll.

Lord of the Rings US
Lord of the Rings UK

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James Herbert

I am really pleased to see James Herbert honoured by so many of you in this way. His novels evolved as he did, with his earlier books being of the splatter genre and his later ones delving more into the spiritual side of things. One of my favourite horror authors he died in 2013 and in true mysterious fashion has never had his cause of death revealed publicly.

The Rats US
The Rats UK

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JK Rowling

I was very surprised that this lady didn’t top our poll; with her worldwide domination of young adult/ children’s literature and her seamless transition into adult Crime writing under her alter ego of Robert Galbraith makes her a worthy addition to our featured top ten.

The Cuckoo’s Calling US
The Cuckoo’s Calling UK

Review of The Cuckoo’s Calling

11. Neil Gaiman

12. Emily Brontë

13. Lewis Carroll

14. Clive Barker

15. PG Wodehouse

16. Virginia Woolf

17. Peter James

18. Dennis Wheatley

19. Ian Fleming

20. Douglas Adams



The one thing that really surprised me through the adding up and writing of this poll is the number of authors who many of you have thought were English and are in fact American, or Irish, or another nationality. Strange how we just get these preconceptions of favourite authors isn’t it.

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2 Comments

  • M. Wolff says:

    I’m. not a reader of the majority of the books that I find in your lists. The majority of my reading, even as a child, has always been non-nfiction! Never did like romance!

  • Pantagruel says:

    I’m surprised that Aldous Huxley and Evelyn Waugh are notable by their absence!

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