18th Century Poets

Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Poets, including Voltaire, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Samuel Johnson.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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William Wordsworth
19
Birthdate: April 7, 1770
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingdom of Great Britain
Died: April 23, 1850

English poet William Wordsworth, along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, released Lyrical Ballads in 1798, which set the tone for the Romantic Age of English Literature. Wordsworth was known for his poems I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, The Prelude, and The Solitary Reaper. He also served as the Poet Laureate.

 2 
William Blake
(Poet and Visual Artist of the Romantic Age)

William Blake
14
Birthdate: November 28, 1757
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Soho, London, England
Died: August 12, 1827
William Blake, author of The Songs of Innocence and of Experience, was a prominent figure of the early phase of the Romantic Age, known as the pre-Romantic era. Known for his visual artistry and poetry, he was also a staunch abolitionist and a forerunner of the "free love" movement.

 3 
Robert Burns
(Poet and Lyricist widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide.)

Robert Burns
7
Birthdate: January 25, 1759
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ayrshire, Scotland
Died: July 21, 1796
Scottish poet Robert Burns, also known as the National Bard and the Bard of Ayrshire, is considered a pioneer of the Romantic movement in English literature. He often drew inspiration from Scottish folk songs. Some of his most notable works include the poems Auld Lang Syne and Scots Wha Hae.
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 4 

Samuel Coleridge
5
Birthdate: October 21, 1772
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ottery St Mary, Devon, Great Britain, United Kingdom
Died: July 25, 1834

Samuel Coleridge was an English poet, philosopher, theologian, and literary critic. He is credited with co-founding the Romantic Movement in England along with his friend William Wordsworth. Despite struggling from bouts of depression and anxiety throughout his adult life, Samuel Coleridge had a major influence on American transcendentalism and writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson.

 5 

Alexander Pope
8
Birthdate: May 21, 1688
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 30, 1744

Alexander Pope was a satirist and poet whose works produced during the Augustan period made him one of the greatest artistic exponents of that period. Widely regarded as one of the most important English poets of the 18th century, Alexander Pope is best remembered for writing discursive poetry and heroic couplets.

 6 
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Novelist Best Known for 'The Sorrows of Young Werther', the First Novel of The Sturm Und Drang Movement)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
6
Birthdate: August 28, 1749
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Goethe House, Frankfurt, Germany
Died: March 22, 1832

Regarded as the greatest literary figure in Germany's modern era, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was a statesman and writer. Apart from writing poetry and prose, he also wrote treatises on color, anatomy, and botany. Thanks to his literary genius, Goethe was made part of the Duke's privy council in Weimar and he implemented several reforms at the University of Jena.

 7 
Jonathan Swift
(Satirist & Author of 'Gulliver's Travels',' A Tale of a Tub' and 'A Modest Proposal')

Jonathan Swift
5
Birthdate: November 30, 1667
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: October 19, 1745

Eighteenth-century essayist, poet, and pamphleteer Jonathan Swift is remembered for his iconic works such as A Tale of a Tub, A Modest Proposal, and Gulliver's Travels. One of the world’s greatest satirists, he gave rise to the deadpan Swiftian style. He had also been the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

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 8 
Walter Scott
(Novelist and Poet known for his Works Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, and The Lady of the Lake)

Walter Scott
4
Birthdate: August 15, 1771
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Edinburgh, Scotland
Died: September 21, 1832

Walter Scott was a Scottish novelist, poet, historian, and playwright. Scott's ability as a writer and his knowledge of history made him a pioneering figure in the formation of the historical novel genre. An influential writer, many of his works remain classics of Scottish as well as English-language literature. Scott was admired by other prominent writers like Letitia Elizabeth Landon.

 9 

Phillis Wheatley
6
Birthdate: May 8, 1753
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: West Africa
Died: December 5, 1784

 10 

Samuel Johnson
8
Birthdate: September 18, 1709
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lichfield, England
Died: December 13, 1784

Essayist, biographer, lexicographer, and literary critic Samuel Johnson, or Dr. Johnson, is remembered for his A Dictionary of the English Language and Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets. He was also a poet, a playwright, and a staunch Tory. His mannerisms indicated he had Tourette syndrome.

 11 
Friedrich Schiller
(Playwright and Poet Known for His Works 'The Robbers', 'Don Carlos' and 'Mary Stuart')

Friedrich Schiller
4
Birthdate: November 10, 1759
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Marbach am Neckar, Germany
Died: May 9, 1805

Friedrich Schiller was a German poet, physician, philosopher, playwright, and historian. Schiller is best remembered for his friendship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the two discussed issues concerning aesthetics. Schiller's discussions with Goethe paved the way for a period, which came to be known as Weimar Classicism. Friedrich Schiller is also widely regarded as Germany's most prominent classical playwright.

 12 
John Clare
(English poet)

John Clare
9
Birthdate: July 13, 1793
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Helpston, England
Died: May 20, 1864

 13 
Charles Lamb
(Essayist)

Charles Lamb
4
Birthdate: July 13, 1793, 1775
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Inner Temple, London, England
Died: December 27, 1834

Renowned British essayist Charles Lamb was a major figure of the Romantic period. He is best remembered for his Essays of Elia and his book of abridged versions of Shakespeare’s plays, Tales from Shakespeare, which he co-wrote with his sister, Mary. He had also once spent time in a mental facility.

 14 

Thomas Moore
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1779
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: March 20, 1852

Irish author Thomas Moore was chiefly branded a Whig ally. It is believed he had a role in burning the memoirs of his friend Lord Byron, an act now considered a literary crime. His iconic Irish Melodies contained his most popular works, such as The Last Rose of Summer.

 15 

William Cowper
5
Birthdate: November 26, 1731
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berkhamsted
Died: April 25, 1800

 16 
Johann Gottfried Herder
(Philosopher, Theologian, Poet, and Literary Critic)

Johann Gottfried Herder
4
Birthdate: August 25, 1744
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morąg, Poland
Died: December 18, 1803

German philosopher Johann Gottfried Herder is best remembered as a significant figure of the Sturm und Drang literary movement. Born into poverty and largely self-educated till 17, he later became a disciple of Immanuel Kant and was associated with Enlightenment and Weimar Classicism. He was eventually ennobled.

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762

 18 
Novalis
(Poet)

Novalis
4
Birthdate: May 2, 1772
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wiederstedt, Germany
Died: March 25, 1801

Poet and philosopher Friedrich Leopold, better known as Novalis, was a significant figure of German Romanticism. He narrated the loss of his 15-year-old fiancé to tuberculosis in his Hymns to the Night. He himself died of the disease a few years later. He was also well-versed in natural sciences.

 19 
Robert Southey
(Former poet of the Romantic school, and Poet laureate from 1813 until his death)

Robert Southey
4
Birthdate: August 12, 1774
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Died: March 21, 1843

 20 
Thomas Gray
(Poet, Writer, Literary critic)

Thomas Gray
6
Birthdate: December 26, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: July 30, 1771

 21 
William Cullen Bryant
(Romantic Poet)

William Cullen Bryant
3
Birthdate: November 3, 1794
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cummington, Massachusetts
Died: June 12, 1878

 22 
Isaac Watts
(Theologian)

Isaac Watts
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 23 
Richard Brinsley Sheridan
(Politician, Writer)

Richard Brinsley Sheridan
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1751
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: July 7, 1816

Irish-born playwright and satirist Richard Brinsley Sheridan is remembered for his plays such as The School for Scandal and A Trip to Scarborough. He owned Drury Lane Theatre in London and was known for reviving the Restoration comedy of manners, replete with stock characters and satire.

 24 
Leigh Hunt
(English Essayist, Poet & Critic)

Leigh Hunt
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Southgate, London, England
Died: August 28, 1859

Known for poems such as Abou Ben Adhem, 19th-century English poet, critic, and essayist Leigh Hunt had founded the newspaper The Examiner, with his brother. Apart from critiquing the politics, theater, and art of his time, he also criticized Prince Regent George, an act that put him behind bars briefly.

 25 

Clement Clarke Moore
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1779
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York
Died: July 10, 1863

 26 

Walter Savage Landor
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1775
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Warwick, England
Died: September 17, 1864

 27 

Tobias Smollett
3
Birthdate: March 19, 1721
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dalquhurn (now part of Renton, Scotland Renton), Scotland
Died: September 17, 1771

Best known for his picaresque novels such as The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Scottish novelist Tobias Smollett was born into a family of lawyers and soldiers and initially attended medical training. Some believe he quit university without a degree, while it is also said he had served as a navy surgeon.

 28 
Hannah More
(Writer, Poet, Essayist)

Hannah More
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1745
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fishponds
Died: September 7, 1833

English religious author Hannah More soared to literary fame with the release of Village Politics, penned under the pseudonym Will Chip. Its popularity made her write an entire series of tracts that educated the poor. She also established clubs and schools, apart from opposing slavery along with the Clapham Sect.

 29 
Lorenzo Da Ponte
(Former poet and librettist best known for his collaboration with Mozart)

Lorenzo Da Ponte
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1749
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vittorio Veneto, Italy
Died: August 17, 1838

 30 
François Fénelon
(Catholic Archbishop and the Author of 'The Adventures of Telemachus')

François Fénelon
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1651
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sainte-Mondane, France
Died: January 7, 1715

François Fénelon was a French writer, poet, theologian, and Catholic archbishop. He is best remembered for his book The Adventures of Telemachus, which was published in 1699. François Fénelon also served as a tutor of Louis, Duke of Burgundy, guiding the character formation of Louis, Grand Dauphin's eldest son.

John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1647
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 24, 1721

 32 

Dorothy Wordsworth
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1771
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cockermouth, England
Died: January 25, 1855

 33 

Sayat-Nova
3
Birthdate: June 14, 1712
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tbilisi, Georgia
Died: September 22, 1795

 34 

Joanna Baillie
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1762
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hamilton, Scotland
Died: February 23, 1851

Joanna Baillie was a Scottish dramatist and poet who recieved critical acclaim for her works, such as Fugitive Verses and Plays on the Passions. One of her most popular works DeMonfort helped inspire Byron's drama, Manford. Baillie was also known for her philanthropic efforts; she donated half her earnings to charity and took an active part in several philanthropic activities.

 35 
Heinrich von Kleist
(One of the Leading Lights of German Literary Romanticism)

Heinrich von Kleist
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1777
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany
Died: November 21, 1811

Dissatisfied with his army career, Heinrich von Kleist had also studied law and math but quit studies later to devote himself to writing. Part of German Romanticism, he penned iconic plays such as The Schroffenstein Family and Hermann’s Battle. He eventually shot himself and his lover Henriette in a murder-suicide.

 36 
James Hogg
(Poet, Writer, Novelist, Biographer, Songwriter)

James Hogg
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1770
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ettrick, Scotland
Died: November 21, 1835

 37 
Thomas Chatterton
(Former Poet whose best known poem, O synge untoe mie roundelaie was set to a five-part madrigal by Samuel Wesley)

Thomas Chatterton
3
Birthdate: November 20, 1752
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Died: August 24, 1770

 38 
Alessandro Manzoni
(Poet, Novelist and Philosopher.)

Alessandro Manzoni
3
Birthdate: March 7, 1785
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: May 22, 1873

Alessandro Manzoni was a 19th-century Italian poet, novelist, and philosopher. His novel The Betrothed is generally counted among the masterpieces of world literature. He is credited to have contributed to the stabilization of the modern Italian language. He was politically active and was a member of the Italian Senate. He was a proponent of Liberal Catholicism. 

 39 

Thomas Campbell
3
Birthdate: July 27, 1777
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: June 15, 1844

Scottish poet Thomas Campbell is best known for his emotional war poems and songs, such as Ye Mariners of England. He was also one of the men behind the formation of University College London. Though he initially intended to study law, he later ended up writing some of the best patriotic lyrics.

 40 
Mir Taqi Mir
(Former Urdu poet of the 18th century Mughal India and one of the pioneers who gave shape to the Urdu language itself)

Mir Taqi Mir
4
Birthdate: July 27, 1777, 1723
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: September 20, 1810

Mir Taqi Mir was an Indian poet who lived during the 18th century. He is credited with shaping the Urdu language and is remembered as one of the most important poets of the Urdu language. Mir Taqi Mir's life and career inspired the 2016 Pakistani biographical film Mah e Mir, in which Mir is played by Pakistani actor Fahad Mustafa.

 41 
Thomas Hood
(Writer, Poet)

Thomas Hood
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1799
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London
Died: May 3, 1845

 42 
Colley Cibber
(Former Actor and Poet Who Was a Theater Artist and a Manager)

Colley Cibber
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1671
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 11, 1757

 43 

Kobayashi Issa
3
Birthdate: June 15, 1763
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kashiwabara
Died: January 5, 1828

Nineteenth-century Japanese haiku poet Kobayashi Issa, or Issa, who had penned more than 20,000 haiku, remains one of the Great Four haiku masters of his country. Known for his simple and lucid language, he mostly wrote about the common man. He is also said to have originated the Japanese I novel.

 44 

Thomas Love Peacock
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1785
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Weymouth, England
Died: January 23, 1866

 45 

Constanzo Beschi
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1680
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy
Died: February 4, 1747

 46 
Cao Xueqin
(Writer)

Cao Xueqin
3
Birthdate: 1724 AD
Birthplace: Nanjing, China
Died: 1763 AD

 47 
Mary Lamb
(Author)

Mary Lamb
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1764
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 20, 1847

 48 
Andrés Bello
(Poet, Legislator, Philosopher, Educator, Philologist, Diplomat, Politician, Translator, Writer)

Andrés Bello
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1781
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Caracas
Died: October 15, 1865

 49 

Christopher Smart
3
Birthdate: April 11, 1722
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shipbourne, England
Died: May 21, 1771

 50 

André Chénier
3
Birthdate: October 30, 1762
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Constantinople
Died: July 25, 1794