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Famous Writers

A list of famous writers/authors/poets throughout history.


Other categories of writers:


Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan “Famous Writers”, Oxford, UK. – 10th March 2015. Last updated 5 March 2018.

501 Great Writers: A Comprehensive Guide to the Giants of Literature

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No Sweat Shakespeare

Charles Dickens: A Biography

Charles dickens 1812-1870.

Charles Dickens was an extraordinary man. He is best known as a novelist but he was very much more than that. He was as prominent in his other pursuits but they were not areas of life where we can still see him today. We see him as the author of such classics as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Bleak House and many others. All of his novels are English classics.

Dickens had an almost unbelievable level of energy. In addition to writing all those lengthy books in long-hand, he had time to pursue what would have been full-time careers for most people in acting, literary editing social campaigning and philanthropic administration. He was also the father of a large family, as well as being involved in a love affair that lasted many years.

He began as a journalist, writing little pieces about daily life and developed very quickly into a best-selling novelist, avidly read throughout the English speaking world. At the same time he was appearing in plays and touring, reading from his novels. And editing his literary hournals, Household Words and All the Year Round , which featured the serialisation of his novels, with people queuing up to buy them, eager to find out how the previous episode would be concluded.

Charles Dickens photograph

Charles Dickens photograph

As a child Dickens saw his father imprisoned for debt and that led him to a lifelong interest in prisons and the need for the reform of the system. Many of his novels reveal the cold hard facts of the Victorian prison system and, with so many readers, the novels had a great effect on the consciousness of the public. In addition to that Dickens campaigned and lobbied for reform.

Dickens was a man who seemed to be able to direct his efforts in several directions and give each his full attention. He spent ten years running Urania Cottage, a home for ‘fallen women.’ And organisation aimed at helping the women get back to respectable life, either in England or Australia or America. He spent his own money on the project and gave it his full attention.

It is difficult to imagine English culture without the characters who inhabit Dickens’ novels. Just a mention of the name ‘Miss Havisham,’ brings up the image of someone embittered and socially marginalised, living in an unreal world that has stopped turning. ‘Mr Gradgrind’ creates the image of inflexibility and Mr McCawber the delusional optimist, always relying on his cheerful belief that something will turn up to solve his problems, makes us shake our heads with a mixture of amusement and pity.

Where would English culture be if there had been no Fagin, no Oliver Twist, no Ebenezer Scrooge? What graphic image would we have of a fawning, writhing, hypocritical functionary without Uriah Heep springing into our minds? And what about the pompous Mr Bumble and the cruel, cold-hearted Mr Murdstone and his iron sister, Miss Murdstone? The list of Dickens characters who have embedded themselves firmly in English culture is endless, and we’ve had a go at pulling together their many thoughts and sayings in this list of the most well known Charles Dickens quotes .

Dickens’ novels, which lend themselves to dramatisation for stage, television and film, are delightful to read and several are regarded as the greatest of English novels. Indeed, Bleak House is acclaimed by critics as being among the greatest of world novels, in the same category as Huckleberry Finn , Crime and Punishment , War and Peace , Pride and Prejudice and Moby Dick .

Read biographies of the top 10 English writers >>

Read biographies of the 30 greatest writers ever >>

Interested in Charles Dickens? If so you can get some additional free information by visiting our friends over at PoemAnalysis to read their analysis of Dicken’s poetic works .

Anjulika Ghoshal

There pride and prejudice is not written by him there is a mention in the article. It is written by jane austen

Bikas Kc

Wow. Really awesome article. Can I get his book online?

Alan Hargreaves

The humour in Pickwick Papers is wonderful, and his descriptions of that world are just as if Dickens himself was talking to me. It’s as close to space travel as one can get.


how can I get this?

Pratima barik

All line understood, really ur writting styles is beauty

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english literature writers biography

50 Must-Read Literary Biographies

I live vicariously through the lives and stories of the writers I love and admire. Sometimes I read biographies of authors whose lives parallel aspects of my own; small lives that eventually produce great art. Lives like Jane Austen and Emily Dickinson, or Penelope Fitzgerald who didn’t write her first book until she was 58.

I like to read biographies that share a commonality with my own life, but like the best fiction, I’d rather be transported to worlds with characters that are larger than life. Lives that are tumultuous, scandal-ridden, and full of perils. Lives that are exciting and rich and full of conflict. Lives that produce stories like Native Son , The Bell Jar, Lolita , A Rage in Harlem , or Frankenstein .

I also like to read about the lives of the authors of some of my favorite books—Iris Murdoch and The Sea, The Sea , Philip K. Dick and A Scanner Darkly , Mary Shelley and Frankenstein , Penelope Fitzgerald and The Blue Flower— but this can be a perilous exercise. Some authors were pretty terrible people, which can ruin your perception of their writing. But like most of us, artists and writers lived lives rife with nuance, and through even-handed, well-researched biographies, readers can take a peek into the minds that have created some of the stories we love.

The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism by Megan Marshall

The supposed “American Brontës,” the three Peabody sisters influenced the thinking of writers like Thoreau and Hawthorne. The youngest sister, Sophia, married Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Margaret Fuller: A New American Life by Megan Marshall

After you finish the story of the Peabody sisters and are searching for more stories about American Romanticism and the role women played in the literary scene at the time, pick up Megan Marshall’s other book, about Margaret Fuller.

The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes  by Janet Malcolm

This is a biography of the biographies that have been written about Sylvia Plath. It tries to correct the myth surrounding Plath and Ted Hughes.

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon

Mary Wollstonecraft died a week after giving birth to Mary Shelley, but in many ways, despite not knowing each other, their lives were very alike. A wonderful book about the mother who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Women  and the daughter who wrote Frankenstein .

Neruda: The Poet’s Calling by Mark Eisner

A Biography of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda:

“In this part of the story I am the one who Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you, Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood . “ —from Pablo Neruda’s “I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You”

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight

This is the most recent biography of Frederick Douglass. It’s a wonderfully rendered story of a complex and brilliant man who greatly influenced American history.

Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father by John Matteson

I’m not a huge fan of Little Women — I find Louisa May Alcott’s life much more interesting than her writing.

Genet: A Biography of Janet Flanner by Brenda Wineapple

Genet is the pen name for Janet Flanner, a woman who fled her home in Indianapolis at 30 to live with her girlfriend in Paris in the 1920s. While in Paris, she became a correspondent for the New Yorker .

Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde by Alexis De Veaux

Audre Lorde did not live a quiet life, and this biography relishes in the myth and power of Lorde as an early black lesbian feminist.

Vera (Mrs. Vladimir Nabokov) by Stacy Schiff

What was it like to be married to the author of Lolita ? The story of Vera and Vladimir Nabokov was a love story that spanned 52 years. Stacy Schiff, if you’ve never read any of her other biographies, is a master.

Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore by Eleanor Alexander

This has all the bad: racism, sexism, abuse, sexual assault—so I warned you! It’s a hard story. I hesitate to call it a romance—maybe there was love, but the relationship between Dunbar and Moore was definitely not stable. This is a relatively short biography, but it certainly packs a punch!

The Blue Hour: A Life of Jean Rhys by Lilian Pizzichini

I’ve always been hesitant to read Jean Rhys’s most famous book,  Wide Sargasso Sea , because I’ve always loved Jane Eyre . But recently I picked up Jane Eyre for a reread and I thought, God, Rochester is an ass. Maybe it’s time for Wide Sargasso Sea .

Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson

Chester B. Himes is probably most famous for his crime noir series the Harlem Cycle , which starts with A Rage in Harlem . Himes was arrested for armed robbery and spent almost ten years in prison, but while in prison his articles were featured in publications like Esquire . Plagued by racism in America, Himes moved to Paris where he became famous for his Harlem series.

Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour

Mary Shelley was the daughter of the feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, and wife to the poet Percy Shelley, who drowned when she was only 24. The idea for Frankenstein was born on a stormy night as a group of writers were telling scary stories.

James Baldwin: A Biography by David A. Leeming

David Leeming was friends with Baldwin for 25 years before writing his biography. This is a wonderful glimpse into the life of one of the preeminent voices of African American literature in the world.

Born to be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

A man who created creepy comics and lived with a horde of cats and thousands of books automatically sounds sounds like the kind of person whose biography I want to read.

Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy by Carolyn Burke

Both a poet and visual artist, Mina Loy moved in the most influential circles of her time. She bumped shoulders with Gertrude Stein, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp—to name a few.

Rebecca West: A Life by Victoria Glendinning

A great selling point for a biography is when the subject is described as a sexual rebel. I’m also a sucker for a story about a dysfunctional English family, which Rebecca West famously wrote with The Fountain Overflows .

The Brontë Myth by Lucasta Miller

Okay, I’d rather read about the Wollstonecrafts/Shelleys, or the Peabodys, because I think the Brontës are a bit overrated…but like the Plath biography, which was a biography of her biographies, this book tries to demystify the myth that surrounds the Brontës.

Anaïs Nin: A Biography by Deirdre Bair

Best known for her sexual exploits, diaries, and relationships with leading intellectuals of her time, Anaïs Nin was more than the sum total of her famous idiosyncrasies.

Simone de Beauvoir: A Biography by Deirdre Bair

A biography collected from conversations with de Beauvoir, who’s best known for her philosophical writing on existentialism and her relationship with Jean Paul Sartre.

Virginia Woolf by Hermione Lee

A well balanced biography about a woman whose life is as well known as her books; still, you’ll find some tidbits in this biography that you’ve probably never known, and might come to see Woolf in a new light—for better or worse. Hermione Lee is a master biographer.

Why This World: A Biography of Clarice Lispector

A writer whose work has seen a resurgence in recent years—Clarice Lispector was born in post–War World I Ukraine, and emigrated to Brazil in her early years. Her writing and life is steeped in mysticism.

Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg

It’s hard to find biographies about black female writers. Especially writers from the 20th and 19th centuries. Jane Crow was a lawyer, writer, and civil rights crusader. She’s an example of a woman we should know more about.

Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor by Brad Gooch

I wish there were more biographies about Flannery O’Connor, the master of the short story. This is a good biography, but I want more.

How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at An Answer by Sarah Bakewell

Four hundred years ago Montaigne wrote The Essays , where he tried to answer the universal question: How to live? This biography explores his questions and answers in a historical context.

Ralph Ellison: A Biography by Arnold Rampersand

A wonderfully in-depth story of Ralph Ellison’s life. He was born in 1913 in the south and moved to New York City in 1936. He had a grandiose personality that was sometimes at odds with other writers and politically active intellectuals of his time.

A Life of Langston Hughes: Volume I: 1902–1941, I, Too, Sing America by Arnold Rampersad

Langston Hughes’s life is told in three volumes. The first relates Hughes’s early years as he traveled the world.

Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee

I own this book. It’s HUGE. I bought it after reading Edna St. Vincent Millay’s biography in which it is mentioned that Edith Wharton was in Paris at the same time as Millay. But while Millay struggled at times with finances, Wharton was born to privilege.

Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Valerie Boyd

In high school we had to choose a book from a list of 100 American classics to read every month. Their Eyes Were Watching God was the best book I read from that list. Zora Neale Hurston’s life was fascinating.

I Am Alive and You Are Dead: A Journey into the Mind of Philip K. Dick by Emmanuel Carrère

A Scanner Darkly is a favorite book. A life as strange as the stories he wrote: “ It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane .”

Richard Wright: The Life and Times by Hazel Rowley

This powerful story about the author of Native Son weaves Wright’s own writing and quotations into the biography.

The Life of Emily Dickinson by Richard B. Sewall

There are a lot of biographies of Emily Dickinson, but this is my choice.

Penelope Fitzgerald: A Life by Hermione Lee

Penelope Fitzgerald was nearly 60 before publishing her first book, which makes me love her. She’s best known for writing The Blue Flower , The Bookshop , and Offshore .

Katherine Anne Porter: The Life of an Artist by Darlene Harbour Unrue

“Pale Horse, Pale Rider” is one of my favorite short stories. A woman is in bed with a fever during the influenza epidemic, and in her fever she remembers her childhood, and worries about her fiancé who is a soldier fighting in the first world war. The author, Katherine Anne Porter, lived a life that was no less compelling.

Zelda by Nancy Milford

A woman driven mad by her husband’s lecherous appropriation of her personality and writing. Confession: I’m not a huge fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald, so it doesn’t pain me to discover he was a jerk.

Iris Murdoch: A Life by Peter J. Conradi

The Sea, The Sea is one of my favorite books. Charles Arrowby is absurd, frustrating, and totally realized as a man coming to the end of his life, but fighting like hell to delay the breakdown into old age. Iris Murdoch at first imagined herself to be the next George Eliot, but ended up embracing Dostoevsky’s influence.

Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher by Joan Reardon

Fisher wrote extensively about her own life in memoirs like The Gastronomical Me and  How to Cook a Wolf , in which she writes about food and its relationship with life and love.

Alice Walker: A Life by Evelyn C. White

Alice Walker was the first black woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple . This might be the only biography on the list whose subject is still alive, which brings a new dynamic to the biography.

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin

Your life can’t be all rainbows and unicorns if you’re writing stories like The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle .  This is a biography about the woman, the books, and the times in which they existed.

The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai by Ha Jin

Li Bai was a Chinese poet who lived a long, long time ago, but whose work and legacy is still greatly revered today in China.

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford

My favorite literary biography. Edna St. Vincent Millay was fashioned as a modern Sappho, and a holdover of Victorian era poets like Elizabeth Barrett Browning. But despite her writing style, her personal life was very modern.

Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Century Life by Caroline Moorehead

The life of the illustrious war correspondent Martha Gellhorn who reported from the frontlines of most of the biggest wars of the 20th century. A fascinating figure.

Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry by Imani Perry

Best known for her play  A Raisin in the Sun , Lorraine Hansberry counted James Baldwin and Nina Simone as friends. She was a prominent voice in the civil rights movement, she joined one of the first lesbian organizations, and challenged JFK to take a wider stance on civil rights. Why don’t we hear more about Lorraine Hansberry more? She died at 34.

Borges: A Life by Edwin Williamson

To read his books and short stories, it would be easy to imagine that Borges’s life could be stranger than fiction. But this biography focuses on the human side of Borges and brings new light to his work and thinking.

Ida: A Sword Among Lions by Paula Giddings

Ida B. Wells was an African American reporter who investigated and fought to end lynching in the south. This is the story of a brilliant and fearless reporter, and an indictment against the United States.

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

I’ve never read Little House on the Prairie . I prefer reading about the rocky life story of the author behind the books.

The Collected Autobiographies of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou

Yes, an autobiography. I included it because I don’t think anyone should try to retell Maya Angelou’s story. Her telling, and poetry, should be the last word.

The Invention of Angela Carter: A Biography by Edmund Gordon

A biography about the author of the morbid and gothic fairytales like The Bloody Chamber and gothic novels like The Magic Toyshop .

My Soul Looks Back by Jessica B. Harris

Jessica B. Harris writes about her early life in New York City when she moved in social circles that included James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, and Maya Angelou. A vibrant city, full of vibrant people.

Harriet Jacobs: A Life by Jean Fagan Yellin

Harriet Jacobs wrote the memoir Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl , which became the most well-read slave narrative written by a woman. Jean Fagan Yellin expands on Harriet Jacobs life, and the world into which she escaped.

Need more? Check out these articles too:

7 Great New Literary Biographies for Your TBR

50 Must- Read Biographies

english literature writers biography

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A Life worth reliving … Percy Bysshe Shelley, subject of Richard Holmes’ revolutionary biography

Top 10 literary biographies

From Shakespeare to Shelley, Edith Wharton to VS Naipaul … literature’s greats have biographies to match

T he idea of writing about authors is, for me, irresistible, and I’ve just published my seventh. It was about Gore Vidal and I have often recalled Vidal’s wise suggestion (made 30 years ago) that I should write about major figures, as important lives make for Important Lives.

Needless to say, anyone involved in this business becomes a student of Great Lives, and I’ve spent decades reading and rereading my favourite examples in the genre. The beginning of literary biography for anyone is probably Boswell’s classic life of Samuel Johnson (1791), an entertaining portrait of the inimitable sage, or such Victorian treasures as Elizabeth Gaskell’s astute life of Charlotte Brontë (1857) or John Forster’s intimate biography of Charles Dickens (1874), his close friend. The 20th century saw many fine literary biographies emerging on both sides of the Atlantic, but it also produced numerous heavy and boring tomes: on the American side Mark Schorer’s staggeringly detailed life of Sinclair Lewis from 1961 or Joseph Blotner’s anaesthetising life of William Faulkner from 1974; on the British, Norman Sherry’s tedious three-volume life of Graham Greene, finished in 1991.

It is such a huge field that I have narrowed my 10 favourites down to the era after the second world war.

1. Henry James by Leon Edel (Five volumes: 1953 to 1972) I’ve read these at least five times, slowly. Savouring each morsel. Although there are famously reductive (pseudo-Freudian) elements, the scholarship is impressive, the alertness to James’s shifting sensibility superb. It’s beautifully written, too. No later biographer of James can ignore this monument to the art of biography.

2. James Joyce by Richard Ellmann (1959) One of the best modern examples of literary biography, with its artfully chosen detail and narrative arc combining with a close reading of major texts.

3. Edith Wharton : A Biography by RWB Lewis (1975) Full of scholarship and astute readings, with a fine general sense of the times as well. It’s a good place to begin, but Hermione Lee’s brilliantly written biography in 2007 was a necessary compliment, challenging the somewhat stodgy view that Lewis put forward, revealing her complex sexuality and originality as a writer.

4. The Life of Langston Hughes by Arnold Rampersad (two volumes: 1986, 1988) Rampersad summons the rich world of the Harlem Renaissance and reveals the depth of African-American literary consciousness in this remarkable biography.

5. Shelley: The Pursuit by Richard Holmes (1974) A startling, elegantly written, example of artistic biography. Holmes utterly revised our sense of this key Romantic poet, taking us into his political thoughts and activities, exploring his poetry in fresh ways.

6. Dickens by Peter Ackroyd (1990) This is among my favorite books. I’ve read it again and again, as Ackroyd is himself a writer of Dickensian vitality – the biographer and subject are so well matched here.

7. Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt (2004). A vast shelf of biographies of the Bard exists, but this is the book I would take with me to a desert island along with Shakespeare’s plays. It has energy and a great deal of unassertive yet far-reaching scholarship.

8. Tolstoy by A N Wilson (1989) Wilson writes so well, and he brings a blazing critical intelligence to bear as well as novelistic skills in assembling a great life of a great writer. I love this book.

9. The Imperfect Life of T S Eliot by Lyndall Gordon (1998) This brings together Eliot’s Early Years – a truly groundbreaking book – and Eliot’s New Life. We see Eliot in all of his alienated grandeur here, a deeply strange man, prejudiced, terrified of women, and yet massively gifted as a poet and critic. The very recent biography of young Eliot by Robert Crawford deepens our vision of Eliot and should be read beside Gordon’s work.

10. The World Is What It Is by Patrick French (2009) This biography of V S Naipaul, is wildly entertaining as well as informative. There is a kind of unwavering clarity and honest here. The complex genius if Naipaul is fully exposed. It’s a model of its kind.

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english literature writers biography

The 20 Best Biographies of Writers

The best biographies of writers cut through the gossip, the scandals, the myths, and the legends to deftly balance the life of the author with their literary legacy. This list features the best literary biographies of writers who penned classic works across more than four hundred years of literary history. From Shakespeare to Richard Wright to Mary Shelley and Virginia Woolf, these favorite biographies of writers encompass a deep bench of the best biographies of famous writers. Let’s dive in!

But first, if you’re interested in more of the best literary biographies, be sure to check out our list of the 10 best biographies of poets :

english literature writers biography

And now for an epic list of the 20 best biographies of writers…

Agatha christie: an elusive woman by lucy worsley.

english literature writers biography

Agatha Christie, one of the “Masters of Suspense,” lived a remarkable life while penning classics like Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None . Read all about it in Lucy Worsley’s Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman . Among the best literary biographies, this one dispels the mysteries in the real life of this iconic mystery writer.

How to read it: Purchase Agatha Christie: An Elusive Woman on Amazon

Also a poet: frank o’hara, my father, and me by ada calhoun.

english literature writers biography

This unusual literary biography blends personal memoir with a bio of one of the greatest poets of all time, Frank O’Hara (for his collected poems, check out this edition ). In Also a Poet , Ada Calhoun discovers tapes of interviews between Peter Schjeldahl, her father, an art critic, and poet Frank O’Hara. The recordings were intended to be used in Schjeldahl’s unfinished biography of O’Hara. One of the best biographies of writers, Calhoun sets out to complete her father’s book while also intertwining memoirs of her own complicated relationship with her father. The result is a raw and real read you won’t soon forget.

How to read it: Purchase Also a Poet on Amazon

Jane austen: a life by claire tomalin.

english literature writers biography

Among readers who have favorite biographies of writers, Claire Tomalin’s Jane Austen: A Life often ranks high among the best literary biographies. We all know Jane Austen—author of, among other classics, Pride and Prejudice and Emma —right? Not so fast. Tomalin’s biography uncovers the previously limited life of this incredibly influential writer.

How to read it: Purchase Jane Austen: A Life on Amazon

Begin again: james baldwin’s america and its urgent lessons for our own by eddie s. glaude jr..

english literature writers biography

The best biographies of writers explore the legacy of the famous author whose portrait they are trying to draw. And that’s exactly what Eddie S. Glaude Jr. does in Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessonsf or Our Own . This bio of James Baldwin, perhaps most famous for his novel with queer themes, Giovanni’s Room , argues that Baldwin’s vision of America remains relevant today.

How to read it: Purchase Begin Again on Amazon

Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey by Mark Dery

english literature writers biography

I’m a huge Edward Gorey fan. I’ve read his books—some of which are collected in Amphigorey: Fifteen Books —over and over again and count him as an influence on my own writing. So imagine how delightful it was to encounter Born to Be Posthumous , Mark Dery’s compelling portrait of Gorey, definitely one of he best biographies of writers. This engrossing literary biography captures the “eccentric life and mysterious genius” of Gorey in a book that illuminates this exceptional-but-often-overlooked pioneer of the macabre.

How to read it: Purchase Born to Be Posthumous on Amazon

The bradbury chronicles: the life of ray bradbury by sam weller.

english literature writers biography

I love Ray Bradbury. During a very difficult time in my life, I sought refuge in Bradbury’s imagination, devouring two of his most treasured short story collections, The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man (get them both in this Ray Bradbury boxed collection by the Library of America). I was completely swept up in wonder and fascination. So I’m so excited to say that Sam Weller’s The Bradbury Chronicles illuminates the life of this towering figure in America’s literary history, easily one of the best biographies of famous writers. Read this book and learn about the incredible life of one of the most incredible authors ever.

How to read it: Purchase The Bradbury Chronicles on Amazon

The Brontë Myth by Lucasta Miller

english literature writers biography

One of the best biographies of famous English writers, Lucasta Miller’s The Brontë Myth is a deep dive into the lives and literary works of the Brontë sisters, whom you may know best from Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë) and Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë). Miller’s bio unfurls the tangled reputation of these three brilliant sisters, liberating them from the various schools of thought—psychoanalytical, feminist, etc.—that have embraced the Brontës and counted them as their own. Instead, we get a fresh update on the lives of these influential sister-authors, free of the various schools of criticism that have ensnared them in their jaws. (If you’re just getting started with the Brontës, check out this handsome box set of their most well-known novels .)

How to read it: Purchase The Brontë Myth on Amazon

Cross of snow: a life of henry wadsworth longfellow by nicholas a. basbanes.

english literature writers biography

Chances are you’ve heard of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, but until now, this iconic 19th century American author has lived a life undiscovered. Read the best of Longfellow’s work before diving into this incredible look at an incredible writer. In Cross of Snow , Nicholas A. Basbanes reveals the life of Longfellow, charting his influences and the writer he influenced himself. This breakthrough study is easily one of the best literary biographies.

How to read it: Purchase Cross of Snow on Amazon

Every love story is a ghost story: a life of david foster wallace by d. t. max.

english literature writers biography

The turbulent life of David Foster Wallace, author of that infamous classic, Infinite Jest , is demystified in D. T. Max’s Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story , the must-read literary biography of this important America scribe. The best biographies of writers sort through the gossip, the speculation, and the larger-than-life reputations of their subjects, allowing the author’s life to be seen in line with their work without overtaking their literary genius. And that’s exactly what Max manages in one of the best biographies of famous writers.

How to read it: Purchase Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story on Amazon

I am alive and you are dead: a journey into the mind of philip k. dick by emmanuel carrère.

english literature writers biography

The genius of Philip K. Dick has left us with classic sci-fi works like Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (inspiration for the SF film Blade Runner ) and A Scanner Darkly . But who was the man behind these important books that helped establish the science fiction genre? You’ll find the answer to that question in Emmanuel Carrère’s I Am Alive and You Are Dead , an essential literary biography for any fan of Dick’s writing. Definitely one of the best biographies of writers, I Am Alive and You Are Dead is subtitled “A journey into the mind of Philip K. Dick,” an apt description of this deep dive into the brain of this key figure in science fiction and literature in general.

How to read it: Purchase I Am Alive and You Are Dead on Amazon

T.s. eliot: an imperfect life by lyndall gordon.

english literature writers biography

I consider many of T.S. Eliot’s poems to be perfect, not to mention Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats , which was illustrated by Edward Gorey (whose bio I included above in this list of the best biographies of writers). But there’s no denying that Eliot lived a, well, complicated life that included anti-Semitism and misogyny. So how do we reconcile the poet’s work with the poet himself? You’ll find out in Lyndall Gordon’s T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life , among the greatest biographies of poets. Gordon takes Eliot on in this unflinching study of Eliot’s life and literature. The best literary biographies face their subject head on, revealing the “imperfect” lives of their subjects, and it’s precisely that approach that makes this book among the most essential biographies of famous English writers.

How to read it: Purchase T.S. Eliot: An Imperfect Life on Amazon

J.r.r. tolkien: a biography by humphrey carpenter.

english literature writers biography

Who was the man who wrote The Lord of the Rings , easily the most influential fantasy books ever written? You’ll find out in Humphrey Carpenter’s J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography . This one definitely ranks among the best biographies of writers because of the nimble way Carpenter weaves together the life of Tolkien with his work, offering a master class of how to write literary biographies. Uncover the man from the myth in this close read on the man who penned a fictional universe as vast and complete as our own universe.

How to read it: Purchase J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life on Amazon

Mary shelley by miranda seymour.

english literature writers biography

She wrote the groundbreaking science fiction novel Frankenstein , but who was the woman behind this classic story? In Miranda Seymour’s Mary Shelley , we discover exactly that. Among the best literary biographies, this book is a saga of the life of Mary Shelley, a life that saw as much sorrow and trauma as joy. In this book, surely one of the must-have biographies of female writers, Seymour sifts through the documents about Shelley’s life to situate famous English author within her historical and cultural context while also surveying how Shelley influenced the canon of English literature.

How to read it: Purchase Mary Shelley on Amazon

Richard wright: the life and times by hazel rowley.

english literature writers biography

Richard Wright is perhaps best known for his novel Native Son , but the author also contributed many more books and writing to American letters. In this book, Hazel Rowley digs deep into Wright’s exceptional life and magnificent literature to braid the two together. The result is one of the best biographies of writers, one that highlights the important contributions of a leading figure in American literary history.

How to read it: Purchase Richard Wright: The Life and Times on Amazon

Savage beauty: the life of edna st. vincent millay by nancy milford.

english literature writers biography

The poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay positions this influential author as one of the leading poets of twentieth century. And it’s precisely that legacy that Nancy Milford illuminates in Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay . With this fresh perspective on Millay, the midcentury master of verse, readers get one of the best biographies of poets. If all biographies of female writers were this comprehensive and inquisitive, there’d be no time to read anything else, marking this as an exceptional biography. If you’re interested in important female authors, check out this one vibrant, bold life of Millay, and you won’t be disappointed.

How to read it: Purchase Savage Beauty on Amazon

Shirley jackson: a rather haunted life by ruth franklin.

english literature writers biography

I’m a big fan of Shirley Jackson. I count We Have Always Lived in the Castle among my all-time favorite books. So it’s with great pleasure that I share that Ruth Franklin’s Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life definitely counts as one of the best biographies of writers. This literary biography goes deep into the life of Jackson, and in so doing, you’ll realize why Franklin subtitles this as “a rather haunted life.” Franklin highlights how this iconic writer danced on the edge of the macabre, radicalized the American literary world, and scandalized the public. It’s a book that’s as dishy as it is illuminating, ranking as among the best literary biographies.

How to read: Purchase Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life on Amazon

Updike by adam begley.

english literature writers biography

John Updike. Just the name of this author conjures up visions of some of the best writing in the English language, like the Rabbit tetralogy and critically acclaimed short stories . How on earth do you begin to assemble the life of this significant author? Somehow Adam Begley manages it in Updike , one of the best biographies of writers. Begley’s bio of Updike meets its match, becoming as innovative and important as its titular subject. The result is a dazzling biography whose story is just as gripping as one of Updike’s novels. You won’t want to pass this one up.

How to read it: Purchase Updike on Amazon

Virginia woolf by hermione lee.

english literature writers biography

When I was a senior in college, I did an independent study of Virginia Woolf with a great professor. To get ready for the course, I read biographies of Virginia Woolf, including Hermione Lee’s bio that I’m including in this list of the best literary biographies. Lee tackles her larger-than-life subject, Virginia Woolf, known for her Modernist novels like Mrs. Dalloway and, my personal favorite, To the Lighthouse . Lee is more than up to the task, and the result is, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer : “A biography wholly worthy of the brilliant woman it chronicles. . . . It rediscovers Virginia Woolf afresh.” If you’re at all curious about Woolf, the Modernists, the Bloomsbury Group, or the history of English literature, pick this one up.

How to read it: Purchase Virginia Woolf on Amazon

Will in the world: how shakespeare became shakespeare by stephen greenblatt.

english literature writers biography

Any list of the best biographies of famous English writers would be incomplete without a bio of the father of English literature: yep, William Shakespeare. What’s left to say about the Bard, who penned some of the most important writing in the English language ? Turns out, plenty. And that’s exactly what you’ll find in Stephen Greenblatt’s masterful biography Will in the World , which attempts to uncover Shakespeare’s origin story. Greenblatt explores Shakespeare’s early life, and the cultural, historical, and artistic forces that explain, so the subtitle says, “How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare.” The outcome is Will in the World , a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and part of the curriculum of anyone looking for the best biographies of writers. This literary biography proves it’s still possible to write fresh, surprising, captivating, and engrossing biographies of famous writers. And Will in the World is the ultimate mic-drop, making it the only Shakespeare biography you need.

How to read it: Purchase Will in the World on Amazon

Wrapped in rainbows: the life of zora neale hurston by valerie boyd.

english literature writers biography

Many people discover Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston through her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God , but in the award-winning Wrapped in Rainbows , Valerie Boyd uncovers the writer’s total miraculous output and undeniable influence. This key book is for sure one of the best literary biographies that any student of American literature will want to check out.

How to read it: Purchase Wrapped in Rainbows on Amazon

And there you have it an essential list of the 20 best biographies of writers. which of these best literary biographies will you read first, share this:.

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9 Best English Authors You Must Read

Are you looking for the best known British authors? Take a look at some of the best English authors, and learn more about their top works.

The English language is filled with amazing authors, including American and British writers. Some of the best known authors in the world hail from England, with works dating back to the Victorian era and the 19th century. The short story was refined in England, and much of English literature serves as an inspiration for writers all over the world in the 20th century and beyond. From William Shakespeare to Charles Dickens, and from Jane Austen to George Orwell, the list of the greatest British authors of all time is a long one.Take a look at some of the greatest English authors of all time, and add them to your reading list.

1. William Shakespeare, 1564 – 1616

2. charles dickens, 1812 – 1870, 3. jane austen, 1775 – 1817, 4. george orwell (1903 – 1950), 5. c. s. lewis (1898 – 1963), 6. j. r. r. tolkien, 1892 – 1973, 7. the bronte sisters, 8. virginia woolf (1882 – 1941), 9. george eliot, (1819 – 1880), final word on the best english authors, faqs about the best english authors , best authors reading list.

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No list of the best English authors is complete without paying almost the greatest playwright of all time. William Shakespeare was an actor and playwright who lived in London, England during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. His plays are still performed regularly to this day, meaning that some of them have been on stage for close to 500 years. His plays are so well-known that a lot of lines from his works are still used in the English language.

His list of works is long, but some of his most popular plays include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Othello. If you want to learn more about the works of William Shakespeare, you may want to pick up a copy of Romeo and Juliet for yourself off of Amazon. If you haven’t taken a look at William Shakespeare since high school English, it is time to revisit the famous bard!

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens is one of the greatest authors of all time, and a lot of his works have served as an inspiration to writers all over the world, including British, Russian, and American authors who came after him. He lived and worked in England during the Victorian era, which the place in the middle of the 19th century. A lot of his stories served as a social critique of the living conditions throughout England and the rest of Europe at the time.

One of the things that set Charles Dickens apart from other authors of his era was that he was well-known while he was still alive. He became a household name all over the world, and he published a variety of prolific books. Some of the biggest examples include Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and A Tale of Two Cities. He is also known for David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and The Old Curiosity.

You can explore the many works of Charles Dickens for yourself. Even if you have seen the movie already, you should read the book that inspired it. It will be well worth your time! 

Jane Austen

Jane Austen is another one of the most popular British writers of all time. She lived in England at the end of the 18th century and the start of the 19th century. At the time, most women didn’t work. They tended to the home and raise the children while the men supported the family. Therefore, because Jane Austen was not supposed to write, she had to publish all of her works anonymously. 

Fortunately, she gets the credit she deserves today. The vast majority of her books focus on women from middle-class and upper-class families. Because the only destination for women at the time was marriage, a lot of her works are filled with humor and romance. 

Jane Austen was a prolific writer, with some of her most popular Works being Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion. Pride and Prejudice is a comedy that focuses on a family with five daughters. 

George Orwell

If you are interested in dystopian fiction, then you will certainly love George Orwell. You have probably read his works before, and many of them are a powerful commentary on society at the time. During his life, he was one of the most outspoken supporters of a Democratic Socialist society. A lot of his works are characterized by a complete opposition to totalitarianism along with biting critiques of European society during the first half of the 20th century.

If you are interested in diving into the works of George Orwell, you may want to start with Animal Farm or Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). 1984 is a classic from George Orwell and gives readers an inside look into a society where big brother is always watching.

C. S. Lewis

Another one of the best-known British writers of all time is C. S. Lewis. Even though his main career was as an academic, he is best known for fantasy books that are aimed at children. There is a good chance you may have read one of his books from The Chronicles of Narnia as a child, with many of them being adapted to the big screen today. During his life, he was good friends with another famous English fantasy author, J. R. R. Tolkien. It is fun to think about these two brainstorming ideas for their next works together!

If you decide to read The Chronicles of Narnia, you might want to read the books in order; however, the best-known book of the series is titled The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. If you fall in love with this book, you may want to read the others as well! You will be transported to a fantasy world filled with immense battles, incredible adventure, and impressive characters. The instant you start reading, you will probably be sucked into a fantasy world like none other you could have imagined!

J. R. R. Tolkien,

If you are a fan of the fantasy genre, that you will probably fall in love with the works of J. R. R. Tolkien. There is a good chance that you are already familiar with his work, as he is the author of The Lord of the Rings series. Even though a lot of people are familiar with the impressive movie trilogy, the movies are based on books that are every bit as good!

He was born in South Africa but moved to Britain during his life. He lived and worked in England during the 20th century, and is widely regarded as the father of the fantasy genre. Even though his books can be long, they are well worth the read. Why don’t you consider tackling The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings Series? If you were impressed by the characters on the big screen, you will be even more impressed with the nuances that Tolkien gives them throughout his book series.

The Bronte Sisters

The Bronte sisters are also among the most prolific writers in British history. Charlotte Brontë (1816 – 1855) and Emily Brontë (1818 – 1848) might not have lived long lives, but they are still among the most popular authors to this day. Even though they lived in England during the 19th century, they were essentially raised to become prolific authors.

Unlike a lot of families in England at the time, their parents encouraged them to the right and become masters of the written word. Similar to other female authors of the time, the sisters needed to use pseudonyms to publish their work. The women frequently wrote in isolation while living in the British Countryside. Charlotte Bronte is best known for Jane Eyre, while Emily Brontë is best known for weathering Heights. The book takes a closer look at Jane’s spiritual and moral compass through events that unfold during the course of her life.

Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf is one of the most popular modernist writers and literature. A lot of her works were published using a stream of consciousness, meaning that she wrote her thoughts down on the page as she thought them out. She is a central part of the feminist movement that took place during the first half of the 20th century. A lot of her works still referenced to this day, particularly as it relates to women’s rights.

Even though she was a prolific writer, there are a few works that stand above the rest. You might want to check out Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando, and A Room of One’s Own. In particular, A Room of One’s Own is known for its famous line that a woman needs to have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Even though this might seem obvious to this day, it was not obvious that people who lived in Europe during the first half of the 20th century. It will give you an insight into what life was like for women in England during that time.

George Eliot

George Eliot, also known as Mary Ann Evans, is another female writer from England who was forced to hide her true identity behind a fake male pseudonym. She also lived during the 19th century, when women were expected to raise a family. Even if they did write, they were expected to publish works on romance. As a result, George Eliot became one of the most prolific writers in England, even if this was just a pen name. 

Her works enjoyed significant success thanks to not only her pen name but also the quality of her writing. Some of her works, particularly Middlemarch, are listed among the greatest books of all time.

These are just a few of the many impressive English authors who have lent their talents to human history. If you take a look at works from different authors and eras, you will see differences in their writing styles. You might even notice that William Shakespeare wrote all of his works in  iambic pentameter !

Then, you can compare his works to those of more recent authors. A lot of these works can provide a nice insight into what society was like at the time the books are published. Others will transport you to an amazing fantasy world filled with mystical creatures. Check out a few of these books for yourself! 

Are there any authors outside of England that I should consider reading as well?

Yes, there are lots of Russian, American, Irish, and other famous authors from all over the world. You may want to check out work by Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, and Oscar Wilde as well. You might also want to check out The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Do not overlook James Joyce and Arthur Conan Doyle, either.

Who is the greatest English novelist of all time?

This is something that is up for debate. There is no single “best” author in the world. Instead, it is more important for you to read work by multiple authors and figure out which ones speak best to you. 

Are children’s books worth reading?

Yes, many children’s books from English authors have been written with tremendous attention to detail and are worth your time.

Who were the three main authors of the Middle English period?

When discussing the Middle English period, Wycliffe, Chaucer, Mallory are the authors often mentioned. John Wycliffe was renowned for translating the bible into English, while Chaucer’s most famous book is The Canterbury Tales. Meanwhile, Mallory wrote Le Morte d’Arthur.

What authors wrote in Old English?

Unfortunately, much of Old English poetry is anonymous. However, there are a few known writers whose work has become renowned throughout the years. They include  Caedmon, Bede, Alfred, and Cynewulf .

Do all authors have English degrees?

Not all authors have English degrees. In fact, there are many brilliant writers who never graduated from university at all. Ray Bradbury, Maya Angelou and Truman Capote are just three examples.

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english literature writers biography

20 Great Biographies of Famous Authors

There’s always something exciting about reading a literary figure’s memoir, learning the details of their personal life (those they’re willing to share, anyway) and getting a glimpse into their creative process. But it’s perhaps more illuminating to read an outsider’s account of a literary great, assembled from years of reporting and sifting through private papers. A literary biography might not be as sensational as, say, the life story of a doomed Hollywood starlet (although certainly a fair number of novelists, playwrights, and poets have lived turbulent lives), but they do offer a complete picture that shatters the fourth walls of our favorite writers’ work. Here’s a collection of great bios that accomplish just that.

Anne Sexton: A Biography , Diane Wood Middlebrook

Middlebrook’s biography of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Anne Sexton was controversial — it exposed several of Sexton’s secrets, culled from tapes of her psychiatric sessions — but it paints a complete portrait of a fractured personality.

Arthur Miller: His Life and Work , Martin Gottfried

The accomplished playwright and notorious public figure Arthur Miller’s life gets the unfiltered treatment from biographer Martin Gottfried.

Beautiful Shadow: A Life of Patricia Highsmith , Andrew Wilson

The woman responsible for thrillers like Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley had her own share of secrets, and Wilson’s biography provides an inside look at Highsmith’s journals and letters that reveals a startling dark genius behind some of the most shocking literature of the 20th century.

The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury, Sam Weller

Perhaps the most important sci-fi writer of the last century, Bradbury gave journalist Sam Weller unprecedented access to his private papers — as well as hours of interviews — for this biography, which reveals his writing process and gives a detailed look inside his imagination.

The Brontë Myth , Lucasta Miller

Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë were the subjects of various rumors and gossip once they reached great acclaim for writing some of the most popular novels of the 19th century. Here, Lucasta Miller breaks apart the myths surrounding these enigmatic young women.

Cheever: A Life , Blake Bailey

Bailey’s portrait of John Cheever is a bleak one, full of suburban frustration, alcoholism, and frustrating sexual yearnings.

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace , D. T. Max

Just four years after Foster Wallace’s suicide in 2008, D. T. Max’s biography chronicled the lows and the highs in the author’s life, from his struggles with depression and alcoholism to the demanding process of writing the epic Infinite Jest.

Harriet Jacobs: A Life , Jean Fagan Yellin

In 1987, while a professor at Pace University, Jean Fagan Yellin discovered the identity of the pseudonymous writer Linda Brent, under whose name Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl was originally published in 1861. Her biography of Harriet Jacobs follows her life as a slave, then a writer, and finally as an activist.

The Life of Graham Greene , Norman Sherry

Sherry’s three-volume biography is an exhaustive look at one of the greatest British novelists of the 20th century.

Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore: A History of Love and Violence Among the African American Elite , Eleanor Alexander

Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore were considered the African-American equivalents of the Brownings, but their relationship was far from perfect. In private, Dunbar was an alcoholic who abused his wife both physically and sexually, culminating in their divorce in 1902.

One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner , Jay Parini

Parini’s book about the great Southern writer delves into his personal history as well as his fictional works, giving context to Faulkner’s characters in his alternate world of Yoknapatawpha County.

P.G. Wodehouse: A Biography , Frances Donaldson

Not only did Sir Pelham Greville Wodehouse create two of the most beloved characters in English literature, he chronicles their adventures in nearly 100 books. Donaldson’s biography of Wodehouse is a touching portrait of the author through the ups and downs of his life and career.

Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr , Jean-Paul Satre

The French philosopher follows Jean Genet from vagabond and petty thief to brilliant writer in this 1952 biography.

Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay , Nancy Milford

The first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize, Edna St. Vincent Millay lived a turbulent life, far beyond turning out some of the Jazz Age’s most important poetry. Milford’s biography of the poet is filled with promiscuity, addiction, and familial loyalty.

Shakespeare: The Biography , Peter Ackroyd

With a novelist’s skill, Ackroyd creates a stunning narrative that follows the Bard from Statford to London, and depicts him as three figures: actor, playwright, and businessman.

The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes , Janet Malcolm

Hardly your typical literary biography, Malcolm’s book is a postmodern look at the biography as a genre, particularly the Sylvia Plath Biography Industry that still glamorizes and misinterprets the poet’s work and suicide.

Tête-à-Tête: Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre , Hazel Rowley

An exciting telling of the usual relationship between two important and prolific philosophers.

Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life , Julia Briggs

Woolf was hardly an autobiographical writer, but her biographer Briggs set out to read her oeuvre through the lens of her personal history.

Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein , Julie Salamon

Wendy Wasserstein was both a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (and the first woman to win a Tony for playwriting) and a New York institution. Salamon’s biography paints a compelling portrait of Wasserstein — both the public and private figures.

Zelda: A Biography , Nancy Milford

An acclaimed bestseller, Milford’s account of Zelda Fitzgerald’s troubled life and relationship with her novelist husband provides a full portrait of a figure often reduced to sketches.

Charles Dickens: Biography & English Writer

Charles Dickens was born at Landport, in Portsea, on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the Navy Pay-Office, and was temporarily on duty in the neighborhood when Charles was born. His name was John Dickens. He spent time in prison for debts. But, even when he was free he lacked the money to support his family. Then, when Charles was two they moved to London. Just before he started to toddle, he stepped into the glare of footlights. He never stepped out of it until he died. He was a good man, as men go in the bewildering world of ours, brave, transparent, tender-hearted, and honorable. Dickens was always a little too irritable because he was a little too happy. Like the over-wrought child in society, he was splendidly sociable, and in and yet sometimes quarrelsome. In all the practical relations of his life he was what the child is at a party, genuinely delighted, delightful, affectionate and happy, and in some strange way fundamentally sad and dangerously close to tears. At the age of 12 Charles worked in a London factory pasting labels on bottles of shoe polish. He held the job only for a few months, but the misery of the experience remain with him all his life. Dickens attended school off and on until he was 15, and then left for good. He enjoyed reading and was especially fond of adventure stories, fairy tales, and novels. He was influenced by such earlier English writers as William Shakespeare, Tobias Smollet, and Henry Fielding. However, most of the knowledge he later used as an author came from his environment around him.


His later years was basically consisting of two main additions to his previous activates.  The first was a series of public readings and lectures which he began giving it systematically. And second, he was a successive editor. Dickens had been many things in his life; he was a reporter, an actor, a conjurer, a poet, a lecturer, and an editor and he enjoyed all of those things.  Dickens had a remarkable mental and physical energy. He recorded all his activities in thousands of letter, many of which made delightful readings. He spent much of his later life with crowded social friends from arts and literature. He also went to the theater as often as he could, because he loved drama. Dickens also produced and acted in small theaters to give public readings of his work.  Besides doing all this after his retirement he got involved in various charities. These charities included schools for poor children and a loan society to enable the poor to prove to Australia.  Then about 1865 his health started to decline and he died of a stroke on June 9, 1870.

Author:  William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)

Tutor and Freelance Writer. Science Teacher and Lover of Essays. Article last reviewed: 2020 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2022 | Creative Commons 4.0

Thank you, this was on great help!



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  1. What Are the Two Types of Literature?

    The two types of literature are written and oral. Written literature includes novels and poetry. It also has subsections of prose, fiction, myths, novels and short stories. Oral literature includes folklore, ballads, myths and fables.

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  3. What Are the Three Major Types of Literature?

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  12. 9 Best English Authors You Must Read

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    20 Great Biographies of Famous Authors · Anne Sexton: A Biography, Diane Wood Middlebrook · Arthur Miller: His Life and Work, Martin Gottfried.

  14. Charles Dickens: Biography & English Writer

    Dickens attended school off and on until he was 15, and then left for good. He enjoyed reading and was especially fond of adventure stories, fairy tales, and