People who write or have written books, though not necessarily for a living. Remember, Administrivia/ThereIsNoSuchThingAsNotability.

The preponderance of recent authors probably reflects both the way that many, many, many authors have been lost to history, and the fact that the less memorable authors of the past don't have so many fans nowadays -- or at least not enough of the [[MostTropersAreYoungNerds Young and Nerdy]] persuasion. The nearly exclusive emphasis on authors of fiction reflects the basic purpose of the wiki.

''When adding examples, please put them in the correct chronological section.''


[[folder:Before A.D. 500 (Classical)]]
Regrettably, many of the oldest classics such as ''Literature/TheEpicOfGilgamesh'' and Literature/TheBible (Well, sections of the Bible, especially the Old Testament) are essentially anonymous works. For the purposes of this page, "Classical" refers to all writers before the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD. These authors are arranged chronologically, divided by place of origin.

* Creator/{{Laozi}} (Lao Tse, Lao-Tsu; traditionally, he is said to have lived from 600 BC to 470 BC): Early Chinese philosopher; author of ''Daodejing'' (Tao Te Ching)
* Kong Qiu (Creator/{{Confucius}}; traditionally, September 28, 551 BC - 479 BC): The most influential philosopher in the history of China; author of his ''Analects''.
* Creator/{{Zhuangzi}} (Chuang Tsu, Master Chuang; believed to have lived c. 370 BC to c. 301 BC): Another founding figure of Taoism along with Laozi; author of ''Zhuangzi''. Probably best known in the West for what is probably the [[UrExample ur-example]] of SchrodingersButterfly:
-->Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi.
* Sunzi (Creator/SunTzu; believed to have lived sometime between 476 BC and 221 BC): Author of ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' (there are others by this title, but this one's the most famous out of them).
* Creator/ShangYang (d. 338 BC): Author of ''Literature/TheBookOfLordShang'', foundational treatise of Legalism.

* Creator/{{Homer}} (c. 800 BC - c. 750 BC): Author/collector of ''Literature/TheIliad'' and ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', the oldest written examples of many tropes. Homer himself was blind and illiterate, so his works were transmitted by oral tradition.
* Creator/{{Hesiod}}: Rough contemporary of Homer whose ''Theogony'' set down the relationships between the gods and other beings of Myth/ClassicalMythology.
* Creator/{{Sappho}} (c. 620 BC - c. 570 BC): The only surviving female poet from antiquity, she was a native of Lesbos and the [[TropeNamer reason modern-day lesbians are called lesbians]].
* Creator/{{Aeschylus}} (c. 525 BC - c. 456 BC): a Greek playwright who adapted many myths and legends.
* Creator/{{Sophocles}} (c. 496 BC - c. 406 BC): a Greek playwright who adapted many myths and legends.
* Creator/{{Euripides}} (c. 480 BC - c. 406 BC): a Greek playwright who adapted many myths and legends.
* Creator/{{Aristophanes}}: Comic playwright, contemporary with Euripides and Sophocles, as well as Socrates. The ModernMajorGeneral knows his "Croaking ''Frogs''". The opening lines of ''The Frogs'' contain what may be the earliest reference to {{Dead Horse Trope}}s, as one character beseeches another to do whatever comedy bits he pleases, but not [long list of bits apparently already considered over-used].
* Creator/{{Herodotus}}: "The Father of History", he compiled a history -- aptly titled ''Literature/{{Histories}}'' -- of the known world (Greeks, Persians, and Egyptians, mostly, with Scythians and barbarians around the edges) that sought to explain the causes of the Persian Wars.
* Creator/{{Thucydides}}: What Herodotus did for the Persian Wars, Thucydides did for the Peloponnesian War (but with fewer digressions, more analysis and some awesome speeches). Considered to be the first materialist with respect to history: he completely disregarded supernatural explanations for the events of the war. The result is sad, includes elements of proto-[[ realism]], and includes one of the earliest expressions of the sentiment that MightMakesRight.
* Creator/{{Xenophon}}: A slightly less famous historian, whose most famous writings cover events he experienced himself. He can be thought of as the first war correspondent. Most famous for the ''Anabasis,'' the trek of 10000 Greek mercenaries from Mesopotamia through Armenia to the Black Sea. It has inspired quite a lot of fictional knockoffs.
* Creator/{{Socrates}}: Greek philosopher. Left no writings, but was of great influence because of his effect on Plato.
* Creator/{{Plato}}: The first Greek philosopher from whom we have complete works with great influence on later thought.
* Creator/{{Aristotle}}: one of Plato's students, also a Greek philosopher; author of ''Literature/{{Poetics}}'', oldest existing work of literary criticism, in which he identified quite a few tropes.
* Creator/{{Aesop}}: The author, or at least attributed author, of Literature/AesopsFables. May never have existed.
* Plutarch (46 AD - 120): Late Greek biographer living under the Roman Empire who wrote ''Literature/ParallelLives'' of prominent Greeks and Romans, ranging from the legendary Theseus and Romulus to Gaius Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Alexander the Great. More or less invented the biography and a key influence on Creator/WilliamShakespeare.
* [[ Lucian of Samosata]] (120 AD - 200): [[/index]] Wrote among other works Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα (''Literature/TrueHistory'', or ''True Story''), which is often called "the first known text that could be called science fiction". [[index]]

* Creator/{{Plautus}}: Roman comic playwright, the author of ''Miles Gloriosus'' and thus namer of [[MilesGloriosus the corresponding trope]].
* Creator/PubliusTerentiusAfer: Roman comic playwright, and the only ancient dramatist to have no {{Missing Episode}}s whatsoever nowadays.
* UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar: Roman general, politician, and dictatorm, but also one of the great Roman authors, writing in a deceptively simple style. His ''Literature/CommentariesOnTheGallicWar'' and ''The Civil War'' are the only surviving descriptions of a Roman general's campaigns written in his own hand. Still widely read, and often the first books studied by Latin students.
* Creator/{{Cicero}}: Roman politician, lawyer, and philosopher. Contemporary of Julius Caesar. Cicero's ''Cataline Orations'', legal and other speeches, letters, philosophical works, and rhetorical treatises are still widely read.
* Creator/{{Virgil}}: Roman poet, contemporary of Augustus, who composed ''Literature/TheAeneid'', setting out how Trojan refugees founded the greatest city in the world. Or, rather, founded the tribe that would later give birth to the founders.
* Creator/{{Ovid}}: Poet, contemporary of Virgil, who wrote ''Literature/TheMetamorphoses'', a large collection of myths dealing with love and transformations, and much other material, including a makeup manual.
* Creator/{{Livy}}: Roman historian who wrote an account of the city's history from its founding by Romulus and Remus on down to his own time (Augustus's reign).
* Creator/{{Petronius}}: Roman senator and Nero's "Arbiter of Elegance," traditionally credited with the ''Satyricon'', a bawdy and satirical proto-novel that lampoons the ''nouveau-riche'' and lower orders alike.
* Creator/{{Juvenal}}: Roman satirist writing in the early second century AD. Treated greed, sexual immorality, and the generally terrible quality of urban life.
* Creator/{{Horace}}: Another poet active around the time of Augustus, wrote a variety of material, including satire and odes. Coined several phrases still in current use, including ''Carpe diem.''
* Creator/{{Martial}}: The epigrammist who wrote pithy little verses about the life of the upper class around the time Juvenal was active.
* Creator/{{Suetonius}}: Contemporary of Juvenal and Martial who is best known for his biographies of the Emperors from Julius Caesar to Domitian. They can be described as a mixture of official record and tabloid journalism.
* Creator/{{Tacitus}}: Contemporary of Juvenal and Martial who recorded events from the death of Augustus up to the assassination of Domitian; most of his work has been lost. He and Suetonius were friends of the younger Pliny and their work form much of the basis for ''Literature/IClaudius''.
* Creator/{{Pliny}}: Father and (adoptive) Son, known as Pliny the Elder and Pliny the Younger, respectively; both historians. Among many other works, the Elder Pliny undertook a work on Natural History, which is now mostly lost. Pliny the Younger is mostly known through his letters, but his description of the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius and subsequent destruction of Pompeii in 79AD (and his uncle and later adoptive father's death there) in a letter to Tacitus is considered the standard reference work on the subject.
* Creator/{{Vegetius}}: Late Roman writer, mostly known for his treatise on military matters.

* Creator/KingDavid: WarriorPoet and author of almost a hundred Psalms (including "The Lord is my Shepherd" and "Have Mercy on Me, O God").
* Creator/EzraTheScribe: Ezra is credited with compiling [[Literature/TheBible the Torah]] in its final form, as well as writing (what else?) the Book of Ezra.
* Matthew bar-Alpheus, Mark, Luke, and John bar-Zebedee:[[/index]] Wrote the [[Literature/TheFourGospels the four canonical Gospels]], accounts of Jesus' life and ministry. Luke also wrote ''The Acts of the Apostles''. [[index]]
* Creator/PaulOfTarsus: Writer (in Greek) of most of the New Testament, in the form of his Epistles.
* Creator/{{Josephus}}: Jewish writer active around 100AD. Chronicled Jewish history, in particular the Jewish Revolt of 66-70AD, which resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple. His own part in the war was not particularly creditable, as he surrendered to Vespasian early on after fast-talked his way out of a SuicidePact. Claimed to have been the first to pour boiling oil on top of a besieging army.

* Creator/{{Valmiki}} (c. 400 BC) author of ''Literature/{{Ramayana}}'', and attributed with establishing the form for Sanskrit poetry.
* Creator/{{Vyasa}}: Author of ''Literature/{{Mahabharata}}''.
* Creator/{{Kalidasa}} (c. 4th/5th century AD): Founder of the classical Indian theater, writing all manner of plays.

* Creator/{{Enheduanna}} (c. 2285-2250 BC), Akkadian high priestess, poet and composer, possibly the earliest known author in any genre and also possibly the earliest known woman in human history.


[[folder:500AD to 1400AD (Medieval)]]

These are the writers between the fall of Rome and the Renaissance, loosely dated as between the fifth and fourteenth centuries AD. A number of pieces from this period are also anonymous, including ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}'' and ''Literature/TheSongOfRoland''. These are listed in chronological order and divided by geographic area.

!! British Isles
* Creator/GeoffreyChaucer (c. 1343 - 25 October 1400): English. Author and poet. Best known for ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'', even though it's an unfinished work. Credited with being the first to regularly use vernacular English rather than Latin or French.
* Creator/GeoffreyOfMonmouth (c. 1100 - c. 1155): [[/index]] Author of the ''Literature/HistoriaRegumBritanniae,'' which includes one of the earliest accounts of Myth/KingArthur, as well as much of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's source material. Mixed fiction/legend with history quite freely. [[index]]

!! China
* [[Creator/ShiNaian Shi Nai'an]] (c. 1296 - c. 1372): wrote ''Literature/TheWaterMargin'', one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature. Some believe him to be Luo Guanzhong or one of his teachers.
* Creator/LuoGuanzhong (c. 1330 - 1400): wrote ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'', one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature.

!! Czech lands (Greater Moravia, Duchy of Bohemia, Bohemian Kingdom)
* Creator/{{Kosmas}}

!! France
* Creator/ChretienDeTroyes (mid- to late-1100's): French troubadour who made great contributions to the Arthurian canon, including the quest for the Holy Grail and possibly Sir Launcelot.

!! Germany
* Creator/{{Hildegard von Bingen}}: Benedictine Abbess and visionary. Best known in Germany for her works on herbology, notable philosophical works include ''Liber Divinorum Operum'' (''The Book of Divine Works'').

!! Iceland
* Creator/SnorriSturluson (1178 - September 23, 1241): Icelandic poet, lawyer, and lawspeaker who composed the ''Literature/ProseEdda'', setting out many of the elements of Myth/NorseMythology. Sturluson also wrote the ''Literature/{{Heimskringla}}'', a history; and ''may'' be the author of ''Literature/EgilsSaga''.

!! Italy
* Creator/DanteAlighieri (c. 1265 - September 14, 1321): Poet best known for his ''Literature/TheDivineComedy''. He did for Italian what Chaucer did for vernacular English, to the point that the French sometimes call Italian ''la langue de Dante''. He's the TropeNamer for WordOfDante, and the ''Inferno'' section of the ''Divine Comedy'' is both the TropeCodifier and Trope Namer for CirclesOfHell. [[index]]
* Creator/{{Petrarch}} (1304 - 1374): Poet and scholar, who, while disdaining the Italian language, ended up being one of its greatest writers. Credited with the invention of Humanism and the revival of Classical letters. [[index]]
* Creator/GiovanniBoccaccio (1313 - 21 December 1375): Influenced such greats as Creator/WilliamShakespeare and Creator/GeoffreyChaucer. And by "influenced", we mean, "They just rewrote his stories". He, like Dante before him, wrote in Italian rather than Latin.

* Creator/MurasakiShikibu (c. 973 - c. 1014 or 1025): [[/index]] Author of ''Literature/TheTaleOfGenji'', Japanese noblewoman, novelist and poet. Her real name is unknown. [[index]]
* Creator/SeiShonagon (c. 966 - 1017): [[/index]] Author of ''Literature/ThePillowBook''. A lady-in-waiting of Empress Sadako, her real name is not known for certain, but most scholars believe it is Kiyohara Nagiko. [[index]]


[[folder:1400-1650 AD (Renaissance)]]

These writers wrote between the fifteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries--a very broad span of time, which includes the Reformation and the beginnings of modern thought. The Renaissance began in Italy, but its influence spread slowly to the rest of Europe. These authors are listed in chronological order, divided by area.

* Creator/NiccoloMachiavelli (May 3, 1469 - June 21, 1527): Author of another ''Art of War'', ''Literature/ThePrince'', and ''[[Literature/DiscoursesOnLivy The Discourses]];'' Italian political thinker whose influence is still felt.

!!British Isles
* Sir Creator/ThomasMallory (c. 1405 - March 14, 1471): English. Compiler or author of ''Literature/LeMorteDarthur'', generally regarded as the foundation of modern Arthurian tales.
* Sir UsefulNotes/ThomasMore (February 7, 1478 - July 6, 1535): [[/index]] English. Author of ''Utopia''. [[index]]
* Creator/ChristopherMarlowe (baptised February 26, 1564 - May 30, 1593): English. Poet, dramatist, and translator, he is probably best known for ''Theatre/TheTragicalHistoryOfDoctorFaustus'', ''The Jew of Malta'', and ''Tamburlaine''. He was one of the first to write English drama in blank verse.
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare (baptized April 26, 1564 - April 23, 1616): English. 38 plays, 154 sonnets and other works. He is the inventor or best-known source of many tropes, phrases and words; generally well-quoted and well-recognized even outside the English-speaking world.
* Creator/JohnMilton (December 9, 1608 - November 8, 1674): English. Poet and pamphleteer, his most seminal works are ''Areopagitica'' and ''Literature/ParadiseLost''.

* Wu Cheng'en (c. 1500 - c. 1582): [[/index]] wrote ''Literature/JourneyToTheWest'', one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese Literature. Unlike most serious literature in China at the time, it was written in the vernacular. [[index]]

!! Czech lands (Bohemian Kingdom)
* Creator/PetrChelcicky
* Creator/JanHus
* Creator/JanAmosKomensky
* Creator/TomasStitny

!! France
* UsefulNotes/{{Nostradamus}}: French physician, author of the ''Prophecies'', a series of predictions of future historical events that may have been accurate or is mostly nonsense.
* Creator/FrancoisRabelais (c. 1494 - April 9, 1553): Author of ''Gargantua and Pantagruel'', an extravagantly comic Humanist satire.

* Creator/MartinLuther (November 10, 1483 - February 18, 1546): [[/index]] A teacher, a monk for a time, a minister, social and political critic and a religious reformer. Writer of the Ninety-Five Theses, which inspired many different factions within the Catholic church to break away and form their own denominations. Also wrote many hymns, several socio-political commentaries on both Turkish Islamic and European Jewish communities. Also wrote [[InCaseYouForgotWhoWroteIt Luther's]] Large and Small Catechisms. His works would later inspire many other Protestant reformers, such as Ulrich Zwingli in Switzerland and John Calvin in France, as they formed their own churches and separated from Roman Catholicism. [[index]]
* Creator/PhilippMelanchthon (February 16, 1497 - April 19, 1560): Another Protestant reformer and a contemporary of Luther. Considered the primary (but not sole) author of the Augsburg Confession, a treatise on Lutheran Church doctrines.

* Creator/GilVicente: Often considered the father of Portuguese drama, although he wrote in Spanish as well.

* Creator/MiguelDeCervantes (September 29, 1547 - April 23, 1616): [[/index]] Author of ''Literature/DonQuixote'' and a pile of plays. ''Don Quixote'' is often considered the first Western novel.[[index]]
* Creator/LopeDeVega (November 25, 1562 - August 27, 1635): Best known as a playwright, he also wrote novels and poems. One of the most prolific writers of all time.


[[folder:1650 - 1800 (Enlightenment)]]
These are listed chronologically, divided by geographic area

* UsefulNotes/AlexanderHamilton: Co-author of ''The Federalist Papers'' and the United States Constitution.
* Creator/JamesMadison: Primary author of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and one of the authors of the ''Federalist Papers''.
* UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson: The Declaration of Independence (principal author), Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
* "Creator/{{Publius}}": a pen name used by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in writing ''The Federalist Papers,'' American political philosophy.
* Creator/ThomasPaine: [[/index]] ''Common Sense,'' ''The Rights of Man,'' and ''The Age of Reason,'' among other works. Famous for involvement in UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution.[[index]]
* Creator/BenjaminFranklin: Epigrammist and author[=/=]publisher of ''Poor Richard's Alamanack''. He's credited with such pithy sayings as "A penny saved is a penny earned.", "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes. ", and "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." He was also the publisher of several newspapers over the years.

!!British Isles:
* [[Literature/TheDiaryOfSamuelPepys Samuel Pepys]]: English civil servant famous for his diary of the years 1660 to 1669.
* Creator/JonathanSwift (1667 - 1745): Irish. ''Literature/GulliversTravels'', "Literature/AModestProposal", and other works. His merit as a satirist can be summed up by his description of lawyers: "A society of men among us, bred from their youth in the art of proving, by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black white, according as they are paid."
* Creator/ColleyCibber (1671 - 1757): English. Poet Laureate from 1730. Actor and playwright, adapter of Shakespeare, and object of Pope's heroic-couplet satire ''The Dunciad''.
* Creator/AlexanderPope (1688 - 1744): [[/index]] English. Penned numerous poems, among them ''An Essay on Criticism'', ''An Essay on Man'', ''An Epistle to Arbuthnot,'' ''The Dunciad'', and ''Literature/TheRapeOfTheLock''. [[index]]
* Creator/EdmundBurke (1729 - 1797): [[/index]] Anglo-Irish. Political figure who wrote ''Reflections on the Revolution in France'' and many others. Considered by many as the father of modern political conservatism (having supported UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution but not the UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution, supporting freedom but not complete systemic overhauls based strictly on ideas). [[index]]
* Creator/SamuelJohnson: English. First compiler of an English Dictionary.
* Thomas Hobbes (5 April 1588 4 December 1679): An English philosopher whose best known work, ''Leviathan'', argued for a strong state to control a destructive human nature he perceived. Without it, he felt existence was "nasty, brutish, and short."

* Creator/CaoXueqin: (c. 1715 - c. 1764); [[/index]] ''Literature/DreamOfTheRedChamber'', one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. It is believed by many to be the greatest novel written in the Chinese language. [[index]]

!!Czech lands (Bohemian Kingdom)
* Creator/JosefDobrovsky
* Creator/VaclavKlimentKlicpera

* Creator/MarquisDeSade (1740-1814)
* Creator/{{Moliere}} (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin; January 15, 1622 - February 17, 1673): Playwright and actor, considered by many to have written some of the most brilliant comedies in the Western theatre. Best known for ''Theatre/{{Tartuffe}}'', ''Theatre/TheMisanthrope'', ''The School for Wives'', and ''The Imaginary Invalid''. ''Les Fourberies de Scapin'' (literally, "Scapin's Deceits") was adapted for the Broadway stage as ''Scapino!''.
* François, Duc de Creator/LaRochefoucauld (1613-1680), renowned to this day for his ''Maxims''. Perhaps the first to dispense advice and observation a sentence at a time.
* Creator/CharlesPerrault (January 12, 1628 - May 16, 1703): Credited creating the genre of ''Fairy Tale'' when he published ''Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals (Histoires ou Contes du Temps passe)'' in 1697 with the subtitle ''Tales of Mother Goose (Les Contes de ma Mere l'Oie)''.
* Creator/{{Voltaire}} (Francois Marie Arouet; 1694 - 1778): Prolific author of over 20,000 works ranging from pamphlets to treatises to novels. Best known for ''Literature/{{Candide}}'' and the short story ''Micromegas'' (one of the earliest works depicting aliens visiting Earth).
* Rene Descartes (31 March 1596 11 February 1650): Mathematician and philosopher famed for his theory of dualism, in which he held the soul met the body at the [[PinealWeirdness pineal gland]], and for the saying which summed up the proof he offered of self-existence: "I think, therefore I am."

!![[UsefulNotes/AllTheLittleGermanies German lands]]
* Bettina von Arnim (1785 - 1859): An important writer in the German Romantic era.
* Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797 - 1848): Well-known German author, most famous works include ''The Jew's Beech'' and the poem ''The Lad on the Moor''.
* Creator/JohannWolfgangVonGoethe (1749 - 1832): Often claimed to be most important German language author. Wrote many poems, ''Literature/TheSorrowsOfYoungWerther'' and an important adaptation of ''Theatre/{{Faust}}''. Many phrases originating in his works found their way into everyday German language.
* Creator/FriedrichSchiller (1759 - 1805): Best buddy (so to speak) of Goethe. Wrote plays like ''William Tell'', ''Maria Stuart'' and ''Theatre/TheRobbers''. Wrote an ode "To Joy" that was famously set to music by Music/LudwigVanBeethoven.

* Creator/GiacomoCasanova (1725-1798), a Venetian libertine, spy, and a diplomat who is the TropeNamer for, TheCasanova. Wrote a {{Doorstopper}} memoir, ''The History of My Life'', that covers the life of the eighteen century Italy and his promiscuous experiences.
* Creator/JeanJacquesRousseau (1712-1778): Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of French expression. His political philosophy influenced the UsefulNotes/TheFrenchRevolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological, and educational thought. ''Discourse on the Origin of Inequality'' and ''On the Social Contract'' are cornerstones in modern political and social thought.

* AuthorsOfThe19thCentury
* AuthorsOfThe20thCentury
* AuthorsOfThe21stCentury