I’ve been on the hunt for some of the best European writers, and this list includes what I think are some of the best. I’ll be honest: there are way more than just ten but these ten stood out to me as being particularly influential. If you’re looking for a good read or want to learn more about European literature then check them out!
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. He has been dubbed “the Shakespeare of Spain” and “the universal writer”. His best-known work is Don Quixote (1605), which has been translated into more than 70 languages and is read worldwide. Cervantes’ influence on Western literature has been so great that the word cervantismo, or “Cervantism”, has come to be associated with any creative work that imitates his style.
Cervantes was born in Alcala de Henares (now part of Madrid) as the son of an impoverished surgeon-barber who died when Cervantes was one year old. After his father’s death he was raised by his mother Leonor de Cortinas y Locadio, who had earlier married Juan Lopez de Hoyos after being abandoned by her husband Pedro Perez Carillo due to infidelity on both sides; this led some biographers such as Eduardo Lozano Mercero to speculate that Cervantes may have had African ancestry through African slaves working on sugar plantations owned by Hoyos family members during their time in Cuba.
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor who lived from 1564 to 1616. He is considered one of the greatest writers in the English language, with his works being translated into every major living language and continuing to be performed around the world today.
Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets that were published in 1609 as part of a collection called “Shakespeare’s Sonnets”. It is believed that these poems were written between 1591-1609 although there is some debate about this due to their style which was very different from earlier works by Shakespeare such as Romeo & Juliet (1594) or Hamlet (1600).
Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet, Florentine statesman, and political theorist. He is best known for his work The Divine Comedy, a poem that tells the story of Dante’s journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven.
Dante was born in Florence on May 29th 1265 to Alighiero di Bellincione d’Alighieri and Jacopo della Fonte (de’ Bardi). Dante’s father was a member of one of Florence’s most powerful families; he held several political posts during his life including ambassador to Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in Cairo in 1289 where he died shortly after returning home from this trip. As a young man he studied at several universities including Bologna where he wrote Il Convivio (“The Banquet”), which was later published posthumously by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313).
- George Sand (Marie-Jeanne Aurore Lucie Dupin, Baronne Dudevant)
- French novelist and playwright. Known for her romantic affairs with Chopin and Liszt, she wrote about the oppression of women in society.
William Wordsworth was born in 1770, and he is best known for his poetry about nature and the human condition. He wrote about his experiences during the French Revolution and also wrote about life in rural England during his time with Samuel Taylor Coleridge (another famous poet).
Wordsworth was part of the Romantic movement, which is a type of literature that focuses on emotion rather than strict rules or logic. This style of writing began in Britain during this time period; it influenced many other European writers who came after him.
Marcel Proust (1871-1922)
Proust was a French writer who wrote in the 20th century. He is best known for his seven-volume novel In Search of Lost Time, which was published after his death. He has been called “the father of the modern novel” because of his influence on other writers and his innovations within the genre of fiction.
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne was a French philosopher and writer. He was a true Renaissance man, with an interest in art and music, as well as writing. His essays were published in 1580 and are still relevant today.
Montaigne’s Essays are famous for their style of personal reflection and their anti-dogmatism.
Stendhal (Marie Henri Beyle)
Stendhal was born in Grenoble in 1783 and wrote under the pen name Stendhal. He is best known for his novels The Red and the Black and The Charterhouse of Parma.
Stendhal studied art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he failed to become an artist because he couldn’t draw well enough to please his teachers. Instead, he became interested in writing books about painting and went on to write several volumes on this subject before dying at age 44 from bone cancer (or maybe heart failure).
Jane Austen (1775-1817) was a British novelist and poet who wrote about the lives of middle class women in 19th century England. Her most famous works are Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma and Mansfield Park.
Jane Austen was born on December 16th 1775 at Steventon rectory in Hampshire (England). She was the seventh child out of eight children born to Rev George Austen & Cassandra Leigh Austen who were both Anglican clergyman with strong literary interests. Jane went to boarding school at age nine but returned home when her father became Rector at Deane near Basingstoke where she lived until she died aged 41 on July 18th 1817
Jane’s first book Sense & Sensibility was published anonymously before either Pride & Prejudice or Northanger Abbey which were both published posthumously by her brother Henry under his own name after he had edited them for publication
Honore de Balzac (Louis Henri de France)
Honore de Balzac (born Louis Henri de France) was born in Tours, France. He is considered one of the founders of realism in European literature and one of its most important practitioners. He wrote over 100 novels, among which The Human Comedy and The Country Doctor are his best known works.
These are the most influential European writers.
These are the most influential European writers. They were influential in their time and still are today. They come from different countries and have different styles, but they all have written many books, plays, poems, essays and other works that have influenced many other writers.
These are the most influential European writers.