Famous British Authors

The authors listed here vastly influenced the lives and thinking of their readers.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens grew up in poverty in 19th century England. This influenced his writings that include orphans, shopkeepers, rogues, widows and other characters from the drab world of the 19th century. He started writing short stories under the pen name of Boz. His famous novels are Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, The Old Curiosity Shop, A Tale of Two Cities, and many others. His novels are still read today and are considered classics. Oliver Twist was produced as a musical in the 1960’s and it is still popular among movie goers.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is the most famous literary figure among all British authors. He lived in the time of Queen Elizabeth I and even now, more than 400 years later, his plays and dramas are produced and performed all over the world. Words from his plays are now famous quotations. He is called the Bard of Avon. There has been controversy linked to his name, because of the vast work that he wrote. Many people even now suppose that some of his plays have been written by others and his name used, because of his popularity. Some of his famous plays are Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, A Merchant of Venice, Julius Caesar, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream among others. He died in 1616.

George Bernard Shaw

One of the personalities of the early 20th century, he was better known for his tart tongue and critical abilities. He wrote music criticisms under the pen name of Como di Basseto, but then branched off into writing satirical political pamphlets and books. He is more well known for his plays like Arms and the Man, Major Barbara, Saint Joan and Pygmalion. This was reproduced as a Broadway musical and later as a film with the name of My Fair Lady. He was a vegetarian, a teetotaler and a social reformer and radical thinker whose ego was larger than life. He lived an active life, till he died at the age of 94.

Arthur Conan Doyle

Arthur Conan Doyle was born in Scotland and studied medicine to be a doctor. He served during the Crimean War in the last few years of the 19th century. His name is completely associated with the figure of Sherlock Holmes, a pipe smoking detective with amazing deductive talents. He first introduced Sherlock Holmes to the world in a short story in 1887. He continued to write stories with Sherlock Holmes as the main character for the next 40 years. He has also written books on mysticism. His other famous characters in his stories are Doctor Watson, Sherlock Holmes friend and confidant, and Professor Moriarty the sworn enemy of Holmes.

H G Wells

H G Wells made the genre of science fiction popular and this developed as a separate classification largely due to the books that he wrote. One of his earliest was The Time Machine which even today is avidly read by schoolboys and the younger generation all over the world. His War of the Worlds became very famous after Orson Welles produced it as a radio play and broadcast it live without any explanations. This caused a huge panic and had people believing that the earth was really invaded by creatures from other worlds. His other famous books are The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Invisible Man. He has also written a lot of short stories and comic novels. His commentaries on scientific issues and socio-political matters are also part of his huge legacy.


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