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If you would like to learn more about some of the most famous English writers of all time, read on!
The most famous English writers of all time
England, part of a small island of 55 million people, floating 1112 kilometres from mainland Europe, has produced some of the most famous writers in the world. From William Shakespeare to JK Rowling, George Orwell and Jane Austin. Today we will explore five English writers that have achieved legendary status, some of them centuries after publishing their first works.
1. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare, born in April 1656 in Stratford-upon-Avon, is considered by many to be the greatest writer in the English language. Affectionately named ‘England’s national poet’ Shakespeare produced 39 plays, 154 sonnets and three long narrative poems. Additionally, his influence on the English language can be felt in the words, phrases and expressions he invented.
According to grammarly.com, Shakespeare coined: bandit, dauntless, critic, dwindle, elbow (as a verb), lonely, uncomfortable, unreal, and swagger just to name a few.
He also came up with countless common phrases like ‘being in a pickle’, ‘the world is your oyster’ , ‘to catch a cold’ and ‘to break the ice’. Shakespeare’s most famous works are Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet Othello and King Lear.
2. Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens, Born in 1812 in Portsmouth is one of the greatest English authors of the Victorian era. Known for his fearless portrayal of poverty and illness, his most famous works include A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities.
The word ‘Dickensian’ is still used today to describe poor social conditions that were often described in his novels. Dickens died in1870 leaving behind 15 novels, five novellas and hundreds of short stories.
3. George Orwell
Eric Arthur Blair, or George Orwell, was born June 25th 1903 in Bengal India. His father worked as a British official in the Indian civil service and his mother was the daughter of a Burmese teak merchant.
He was best known for the straightforward, journalistic style in which he let his stories speak for themselves as opposed to constructing flowery prose. Orwell’s social criticism and anti-totalitarianism play a key role in many of his works, including his most famous novel 1984. His other notable works include Animal Farm, Road to Wigan Pier, Down and out in Paris and London and Coming Up for Air.
George Orwell also has his own adjective “Orwellian” which Wikipedia describes as an adjective which describes an idea, or societal circumstance that Orwell himself found to be destructive to the welfare of a free and open society.
4. J.K. Rowling
J.K Rowling has to be one of the most successful English authors of all time. She was born in July 1965 in a small town near Bristol and grew up in Gloucestershire, England.
Best known for her novels about a young wizard who attends a school for magical children, Harry Potter is now a global phenomenon that has sold over 500 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 60 different languages. Her novels have also been turned into an extremely successful series of Hollywood films that has reportedly earned the author a whopping 700 million dollars.
5. Jane Austen
Jane Austen is one of the most famous English writers of all time, her six novels Pride and Prejudice Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey, are read all over the world and have been made into countless films and TV shows.
Jane Austen was born on 16th December 1775 in Hampshire, England. Her father was a reverend who encouraged his children to pursue a life of learning. She was the second child in a family of eight which included six boys and two girls.
Austen is celebrated for creating a new literary style in which the everyday lives of normal people, their dysfunctional families and troubled relationships were central themes.
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