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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 1 William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth.
12
Famous As: Poet
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 P B Shelley

P B Shelley.
5
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 4, 1792
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: England
Died: July 8, 1822
Legendary English Romantic poetry P.B. Shelley is remembered for his masterpieces such as Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark, and Prometheus Unbound. He was known for his poetic imagery, and his popularity soared after his premature death due to drowning while boating at age 29. 
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 3 John Keats

John Keats.
4
Famous As: Romantic poet
Birthdate: October 31, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moorgate
Died: February 23, 1821
John Keats was one of the leading 19th-century Romantic poets, along with Byron and Shelley, known for his natural imagery and emotions in his poems. Some of his best-known works are Ode on a Grecian Urn, To Autumn, and Ode to a Nightingale. He died of tuberculosis at age 25.

 4 Robert Burns

Robert Burns.
6
Famous As: Poet and Lyricist
Birthdate: January 25, 1759
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ayrshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
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.

 5 Oliver Goldsmith

Oliver Goldsmith.
4
Famous As: Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Birthdate: November 10, 1728
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ballymahon
Died: April 4, 1774

Oliver Goldsmith was an Anglo-Irish novelist, poet, and playwright. Described by his contemporaries as a disorganized and impetuous person, Goldsmith is best remembered for his works, such as The Vicar of Wakefield, The Deserted Village, and She Stoops to Conquer. A respected writer, Goldsmith's statue has been erected in several places, including the Trinity College, Dublin.

 6 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: August 28, 1749
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: 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 Samuel Johnson

Samuel Johnson.
6
Famous As: Writer
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.

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 8 Walter Scott

Walter Scott.
4
Famous As: Novelist
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 John Clare

John Clare.
9
Famous As: English poet
Birthdate: July 13, 1793
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Helpston, England
Died: May 20, 1864

 10 Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley.
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 8, 1753
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: West Africa
Died: December 5, 1784

 11 Friedrich Schiller

Friedrich Schiller.
4
Famous As: Poet, Playwright, Historian & Philosopher
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 Voltaire

Voltaire.
15
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 21, 1694
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 30, 1778
18th-century historian, author, philosopher, and advocate of freedom of speech Voltaire was a leading figure of the French Age of Enlightenment. He often ran into trouble for his criticism of the French nobility and the Roman Catholic Church. He once went to Britain on voluntary exile, fearing imprisonment in France.

 13 Lady Mary Wortley Montagu

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

 14 William Cowper

William Cowper.
4
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 26, 1731
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berkhamsted
Died: April 25, 1800

 15 Thomas Gray

Thomas Gray
4
Famous As: Poet, Writer, Literary critic
Birthdate: December 26, 1716
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
Died: July 30, 1771

 16 Isaac Watts

Isaac Watts
4
Famous As: Theologian
Birthdate: July 17, 1674
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Southampton, Kingdom of England
Died: November 25, 1748

 17 Mikhail Lomonosov

Mikhail Lomonosov.
4
Famous As: Scientist, Poet, Geologist, Astronomer
Birthdate: November 19, 1711
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lomonossowo, Russia
Died: April 15, 1765

Russian polymath Mikhail Lomonosov was born to a fisherman father and left his village later to satiate his hunger for knowledge. Apart from reforming Russian language and literature, he also made the first colored glass mosaic in his country and discovered the atmosphere of Venus. He loved simple life.

 18 Johann Gottfried Herder

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

 19 Mir Taqi Mir

Mir Taqi Mir
4
Famous As: author, poet
Birthdate: 1722 AD
Birthplace: Agra
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.

 20 Novalis

Novalis.
4
Famous As: Philosopher & Poet
Birthdate: May 2, 1772
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Oberwiederstedt, Electorate of Saxony, 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.

 21 William Cullen Bryant

William Cullen Bryant.
3
Famous As: Romantic Poet
Birthdate: November 3, 1794
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cummington, Massachusetts
Died: June 12, 1878

 22 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
3
Famous As: Writer, Philosopher, Playwright, Poet, Librarian, Theologian, Dramaturge, Literary critic, Journalist
Birthdate: January 22, 1729
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kamenz
Died: February 15, 1781

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing was a noted German dramatist, critic, and author, remembered especially for his contribution towards liberating German theatre from the influence of its classical and French counterpart. Known for such literary masterpieces like Miss Sara Sampson; Emilia Galotti; Minna von Barnhelm; Nathan the Wise; Laocoön; Hamburg Dramaturgy, he is now considered an outstanding representative of the Enlightenment era.

 23 Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Richard Brinsley Sheridan
3
Famous As: Poet, Politician, Librettist, Writer, Playwright
Birthdate: October 30, 1751
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin
Died: July 7, 1816

 24 Heinrich von Kleist

Heinrich von Kleist
3
Famous As: Poet
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.

 25 Leigh Hunt

Leigh Hunt.
3
Famous As: English Essayist, Poet & Critic
Birthdate: October 19, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Southgate, London
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.

 26 Alphonse de Lamartine

Alphonse de Lamartine.
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 21, 1790
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mâcon
Died: February 28, 1869

French poet and historian Alphonse de Lamartine is best remembered for his collection of poems Méditations poétiques. He was a chief force behind the formation of the Second Republic of France. The allowances he gave his sisters depleted his finances, and he died struggling and in oblivion.

 27 Tobias Smollett

Tobias Smollett
3
Famous As: Author
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

Hannah More
3
Famous As: Writer, Poet, Essayist
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 John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby

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

 30 François Fénelon

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

 31 James Hogg

James Hogg
3
Famous As: Poet, Writer, Novelist, Biographer, Songwriter
Birthdate: December 9, 1770
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ettrick, Scotland
Died: November 21, 1835

 32 Waris Shah

Waris Shah
3
Famous As: poet
Birthdate: 1722 AD
Birthplace: Jandiala Sher Khan
Died: 1798 AD

 33 Sayat-Nova

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

 34 Andrés Bello

Andrés Bello
3
Famous As: Poet, Legislator, Philosopher, Educator, Philologist, Diplomat, Politician, Translator, Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1781
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Caracas
Died: October 15, 1865

 35 Cao Xueqin

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

 36 Thomas Hood

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

 37 Constanzo Beschi

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

 38 Alfred de Vigny

Alfred de Vigny.
3
Famous As: Poet, Playwright, Novelist
Birthdate: March 27, 1797
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Loches
Died: September 17, 1863

Alfred de Vigny was a French poet whose poem La Maison du berger is regarded by some as the greatest 19th-century French poem. One of the leaders of French Romanticism, Vigny also wrote philosophical novels. Also regarded as a thinker, Alfred de Vigny was one of the first French poets to develop a serious interest in Buddhism.

 39 N. F. S. Grundtvig

N. F. S. Grundtvig
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 8, 1783
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vordingborg Municipality, Denmark
Died: September 2, 1872

 40 Christopher Smart

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

 41 August Wilhelm Schlegel

August Wilhelm Schlegel
3
Famous As: Linguist, Translator, Sanskrit scholar, Philosopher, Poet, Literary critic, Literary historian, Romanist, Playwright, University teacher, Writer, Indologist
Birthdate: September 8, 1767
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hanover
Died: May 12, 1845

 42 Sheikh Galip

Sheikh Galip
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1757 AD
Birthplace: İstanbul, Turkey
Died: January 3, 1798

 43 Vasily Zhukovsky

Vasily Zhukovsky
3
Famous As: linguist, poet, translator, writer, literary critic
Birthdate: January 29, 1783
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tula
Died: April 24, 1852

Born as an illegitimate son of a Russian landowner father and a Turkish slave mother, Vasily Zhukovsky had initially been the tutor of Tsar-Liberator Alexander II. He later co-founded the Arzamas society, which opposed classicism in poetry. With his poems and translations, he brought the Romantic Movement to Russia.

 44 André Chénier

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

 45 Yosa Buson

Yosa Buson
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1716 AD
Birthplace: Settsu Province, Japan
Died: January 17, 1784

Though born into an affluent Japanese family, Yosa Buson renounced his wealth and traveled far and wide to master painting and the art of haiku. His poetic experiments included mingling Chinese and Japanese poetry. He played a major role in popularizing the Nan-ga style of Japanese painting.

 46 Johann Kaspar Lavater

Johann Kaspar Lavater
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 15, 1741
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: January 2, 1801

 47 Vittorio Alfieri

Vittorio Alfieri
3
Famous As: Dramatist
Birthdate: January 16, 1749
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Asti, Italy
Died: October 8, 1803

 48 Eliza Haywood

Eliza Haywood
3
Famous As: British author
Birthdate: 1693 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: February 25, 1756

 49 Charles Montagu, 1st earl of Halifax

Charles Montagu, 1st earl of Halifax
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: April 16, 1661
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kingdom of England
Died: May 19, 1715

 50 Joel Barlow

Joel Barlow
3
Famous As: Poet, Diplomat, Writer
Birthdate: March 24, 1754
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Redding
Died: December 26, 1812