Who was the greatest English writer?
Please, don't mention or answer "Shakespeare" - it isn't that I think he wasn't TREMENDOUS - it is that he is too easy an answer.
My personal favorites are Tolkien and Dickens. The greatest, IMO, would be Chaucer.
Toss up between Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. My favourite is always moving here, both creators of dystopian societies, I think I have to go with Huxley for the Way he handled multi dialogue and the way, in Brave New World, he disguised dystopia as utopia.
For me, Tolkien, Jane Austen , Lewis Carrol and Daphne de Maurier who wrote the classic Rebecca.
Shakespeare really is one of my favorites I'd have to go with Jane Austen next, she was a great story teller and she understood those she wrote about.
Dickens is great too but I find his books so depressing most times.
You're catching on there, lad! In terms of breadth of material (i.e., variety of subject matter) I'd have to pop for George Orwell. All the way from following 'The Road To Wigan Pier' to '1984' and 'Animal Farm', Orwell kept you guessing,
'What comes next?'
For epic proportions Thomas Hardy took in the plight of the common man - at least in 'Wessex' - with the use of plain, straightforward prose, unlike Dickens who ties the reader in Civil Service English knots. I've never got on with him, (and we had to do 'Pickwick Papers' for our Eng. Lit. General Certificate of Education 'Ordinary' Level or GCE 'O'-Level back in 1964 - that's right, the place was crawling with Stegosauri, and we'd just been caught napping by the Boers and Zulus, not to mention Kaiser Bill) and I'd have PAID them to do something I could understand properly!
Coming more up-to-date, another name to conjure with - NOT Paul Daniels - I would say has to be (ex-RN Commander) Nicholas Montserrat for his gripping stories of Atlantic convoys and other navy stories, the most famous being 'The Cruel Sea', made into a film starring Jack Hawkins.
Jane Austen is my favourite, for her wit and observations on character and the society of the time. Then there's Thomas Hardy (though a bit depressing) and the Bronte sisters (especially Charlotte's 'Jane Eyre'). Coming more up-to-date, there's Nevil Shute and, more contemporary, Dean Koontz. I also like Colin Dexter's 'Morse' stories. Dickens is way too heavy to plough through for me, though his observations on society give a good historical perpective.
To answer your question properly I have to choose just one - Jane Austen.
I will rate Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie as the greatest writer in English. He has tremendous command of the language and at the same time is an exceptional story teller. Rushdie is an Indian, but that should not debar him for consideration as the greatest writer in English.
Do you mean English language writers or English as in writers from England? Tolkien has always been one of my favorite writer's. I also think that Poe was great within his genre as well as Whitman in his. For contemporary writers I have huge respect for Rowling, not necessarily for what she has written, although it is very good, but in how she got an entire generation to read again.
according to my knowledge....i guess...Philip Larkin who wrote
The Whitsun Weddings (1964) is one of the great writers in english for all times..!!
Shakespeare is probably the greatest, followed by Dickens, Orwell, JR Tolkien.
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by mendoza_747 years ago
I have a soft spot for this one: "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth."
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