My Top Ten Dead British Authors…

If you have ever wondered just who my top ten dead British authors are (and why wouldn’t you have wondered this?) then you might like to check out the latest piece I have written for Fiction Uncovered as their guest editor this month. Having done it, it actually looks like my ideal dinner party. Now some of you may well guess who is at number one, but there may be some gems in there you might have missed…

Anyway I thought I would share it with you. Do have a gander and let me know what you think of the list, also do let me know who your top deceased authors might be, British or otherwise?


Filed under Random Savidgeness

15 responses to “My Top Ten Dead British Authors…

  1. Lovely list (I know you’re not as much of a Jane Austen fan as me – and I would probably have put Virginia Woolf on there as well). Now I must go and check out Ellen Wood…

  2. Glad to see Agatha Christie on this list. I always feel she must have been such an interesting person.

  3. kaggsysbookishramblings

    Lovely piece Simon – and I have read *all* of them except Mrs. Henry Wood – so maybe it’s time to put that right!!

  4. David

    Who do I really like that’s British and DEAD? I don’t think I’ve read enough dead people to have a definitive top ten, but beyond the obvious ones (Hardy, Austen, Greene…) I’d say Rumer Godden and Olivia Manning would currently top my list – I’ve read several books by both and wish they were still alive and turning them out. I think I’d find dead Americans easier!

    You’ve intrigued me with Mrs. Henry Wood (I did indeed say ‘who?’) so I shall have to look out for ‘East Lynne’. I’m not sure about Muriel Spark yet – I tried her for the first time last month (‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’) and wasn’t sure if I liked it or not: I loved the acerbic wit, but I was longing for some – any! – character development beyond each of the girls carrying their one-line descriptors around with them all through the book like signs hung around their necks. Still, I have a few of hers here and do intend to try more – I’m very tempted by ‘The Mandelbaum Gate’ for some reason.

  5. Louise Trolle

    Mine are probably:
    W. Somerset Maugham (I guess he counts as British?)
    Algernon Blackwood
    Conan Doyle
    Anthony Trollope

  6. Du maurier really strange offer you twice to send you a first editions or nothing and not to curry favour and you never got back to me

    • Sorry Stu. With Gran being ill and then sorting all her estate out and all that (then new job) I have been bonkers. I will email you. This weekend. Promise.

      • Ok 🙂 I thought over night my top ten
        1 Evelyn Waugh
        2 Henry Green
        3 Graham Greene
        4 J G Ballard
        5 R L Stevenson
        6 George Orwell
        7 D H Lawrence
        8 Lawrence Durrell
        9 Charles Dicken
        10 Somerset Maugham
        Oh just noted all men 😦

  7. Ruthiella

    I also want to read East Lynne now! My library does not have a copy but I see that used copies are easily obtainable via the internet.

    Contrary to you Simon, I adore Dickens, so he would possibly top my list.

    I am surprised no one has mentioned Georgette Heyer yet. I have only read a couple of her books and didn’t really love them, but I know there are many, many readers who adore her and she wrote a ton of books.

  8. Great list, thanks for sharing!

  9. Nice that you didn’t just go with the “greats”. I concur re DuMaurier, Conan Doyle and Christie. There are some on your list I haven’t read, but I may have to check them out!

    My personal list of favorite (not necessarily best) dead British authors would include William Shakespeare, Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh, Arthur Conan Doyle, J. R. R. Tolkien, Rumer Godden (mostly for In This House of Brede, which I loved), Mary Stewart (I enjoy her romantic suspense, but the Arthurian novels are amazing), Rosamunde Pilcher (her later novels are wonderful), Elizabeth Goudge, A. A. Milne (for the Winnie the Pooh books), C. S. Lewis, Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Joan Aiken. As you can see, I’m not averse to including authors who wrote for children!

  10. Mrs. Henry Wood. Well, you don’t see Ellen Wood on many top-ten lists these days. I’ll have to go check out your full article.

  11. Yeah for Daphne du Maurier (I’m just going te reread Rebecca for the umpteenth time), Agatha Christie, Sir Conan Doyle & Charlotte Brontë, although I prefer Emily !

    Here’s my Top Ten Dead British Authors :

    – Jane Austen.
    – Emily Brontë
    – Charlotte Brontë
    – Lewis Carroll
    – Daphne du Maurier.
    – Charles Dickens.
    – Elizabeth Gaskell.
    – Agatha Christie
    – Frances Hodgson Burnett
    – Virginia Woolf

  12. Here are my Top Ten Dead British authors

    Elizabeth Taylor
    Graham Greene
    Penelope Fitzgerald
    Muriel Spark
    William Thackeray
    Rosamund Lehmann
    Evelyn Waugh
    Henry Green
    Jane Austen
    W. Somerset Maugham

  13. sharkell

    Your post prompted me to pick up Love in a Cold Climate, my first Mitford. A 5 star read, I loved it. Thanks.

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