This section contains information, facts, and worksheets on famous authors, writers & poets through history.
For as long as people could communicate, they’ve been telling stories. Whether it was to pass down knowledge or to instill values, to teach lessons, pass social and political commentary, or simply to entertain, storytellers have created whole other worlds spanning hundreds of languages, cultures and centuries.
Some authors, like William Shakespeare (1564-1616), were responsible for shaping the way stories were told. Through his work, Shakespearean style emerged in poetry, theatre and even the English language, and formed the backbone of Elizabethan literature.
John Keats (1795-1821) and Lord Byron (1788-1824) are two examples of authors working in the English Romanticism movement. While Keats’ life was tragically cut short by illness, his works embody passion and vitality. Lord Byron, not much longer lived, travelled extensively and his exposure to different cultures informed his works.
Authors Washington Irving (1783-1859) caused thrills and frights with his Gothic novel Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Other authors were adept at describing the social injustices of their time. Victorian author, Charles Dickens (1812-1870), for example, penned many a story about work and living conditions in industrial London. Similarly, Howard Thurman (1899-1981) made waves across America with his depiction of human rights issues and the fight for civil rights by African-Americans.
Emily Brontë (1818-1848), along with her sisters, caused quite the stir by becoming an accomplished writer and penning stories under a pseudonym – as at the time it wasn’t considered proper for women to be authors.
In more modern times, many authors have been responsible for bringing the world of literature to children. Hans Christian Andersen’s (1805-1875) fairy tales are credited with laying the groundwork for bringing inanimate objects to life and personifying animals later used by Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) and Beatrix Potter (1866-1943).
Bringing silliness and light-hearted joy to children were the iconic works of Dr Seuss (1904-1991) and Roald Dahl (1916-1990), who thrilled audiences small and grown with silly rhymes and funny situations.
Today, a generation of children have grown up with Harry Potter, the main character in British author J. K. Rowling’s wizarding universe.