Famous 19th Century American Novelists

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

Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century American Novelists

 1 Mark Twain

Mark Twain
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 30, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florida, Missouri, United States
Died: April 21, 1910

Mark Twain, “the father of American literature,” was one of the world’s greatest 19-th century humorists and authors. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were drawn from his childhood experiences in Missouri. In his later life, he sunk into bankruptcy and also recovered.

 2 Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: November 29, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Germantown, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 6, 1888
Novelist and short story writer Louisa May Alcott is best remembered as the author of the 1868 novel Little Women and its sequels, Little Men and Jo's Boys. She initially wrote using the pseudonym “A. M. Barnard.” She never married and remained a life-long feminist and abolitionist.

 3 Jack London

Jack London
4
Famous As: Novelist & Journalist
Birthdate: January 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: November 22, 1916

Jack London was an American novelist, social activist, and journalist. A pioneer of American magazines and commercial fiction, London was one of the first authors from the US to become an international celebrity. His life and work inspired several films, such as the 1943 movie Jack London and 1980 film Klondike Fever. He was also portrayed in several TV series.

Recommended Lists:

 4 Herman Melville

Herman Melville
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 1, 1819
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: September 28, 1891

Herman Melville was an American short story writer, novelist, and poet. One of his best-known works, Moby-Dick is widely regarded as one of the great American novels, although it did not garner much attention during his lifetime. Livyatan melvillei, a species of an extinct sperm whale, which was discovered in 2010, was named in his honor.  

 5 Henry James

Henry James
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 15, 1843
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 28, 1916

Henry James was an author, regarded as one of the greatest novelists ever to write in the English language. One of his novellas titled The Turn of the Screw has been the most analyzed ghost story in the history of English language literature. While his works have been adapted into films, he has been the subject of several other stories.

 6 Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: July 4, 1804
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Salem, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 19, 1864

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American writer, known for dark romanticism and moral-themed novels and short stories. A descendant of judge John Hathorne of the Salem witch trials infamy, the writer was a friend of late American president Franklin Pierce. His well-known books include Twice-Told Tales, The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables. Nathaniel was married to painter Sophia Peabody.

 7 Gertrude Stein

Gertrude Stein
5
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Allegheny, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 27, 1946

Gertrude Stein was an American playwright, novelist, poet, and art collector. She is remembered for publishing works about lesbian sexuality, which was considered a taboo at that time. Over the years, Gertrude Stein has been the subject of several works of art. In the 2011 movie Midnight in Paris, Stein was portrayed by Kathy Bates.

You May Like

 8 Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair
4
Famous As: American writer
Birthdate: September 20, 1878
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland
Died: November 25, 1968
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and political activist Upton Sinclair is best remembered for his novels such as The Jungle and The Brass Check, which mirrored the exploitative and unjust nature of various sectors. He was also an occult and telepathy enthusiast. He was actively involved with the Socialist and Democratic parties.

 9 Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston
4
Famous As: Folklorist, Anthropologist
Birthdate: January 7, 1891
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Notasulga
Died: January 28, 1960

Zora Neale Hurston was an author, anthropologist, and filmmaker. As an African American woman, she often depicted racial issues in the films she made. Her works also reflected her struggles as a black woman. In her early career, she conducted anthropological and ethnographic research and focused more on writing and film-making in her later years.

 10 Edgar Rice Burroughs

Edgar Rice Burroughs
4
Famous As: Creator of Tarzan
Birthdate: September 1, 1875
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Died: March 19, 1950

 11 Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton
5
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 24, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 11, 1937

 12 Sinclair Lewis

Sinclair Lewis
4
Famous As: Nobel Prize Winner in Literature
Birthdate: February 7, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sauk Centre
Died: January 10, 1951

 13 Willa Cather

Willa Cather
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: December 7, 1873
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Winchester
Died: April 24, 1947

 14 Rose Wilder Lane

Rose Wilder Lane
5
Famous As: Journalists
Birthdate: December 5, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: De Smet, South Dakota, USA
Died: October 30, 1968

 15 Zane Grey

Zane Grey
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 31, 1872
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zanesville, Ohio, USA
Died: October 23, 1939

 16 Stephen Crane

Stephen Crane
3
Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Poet, Baseball player, Novelist, Screenwriter
Birthdate: November 1, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newark
Died: June 5, 1900

 17 Frances Hodgson Burnett

Frances Hodgson Burnett
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: November 24, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheetham, Manchester, England
Died: October 29, 1924

 18 Lewis Wallace

Lewis Wallace
3
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: April 10, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brookville, Indiana, United States
Died: February 15, 1905

 19 Horatio Alger

Horatio Alger
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: January 31, 1832
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States
Died: July 30, 1899

 20 Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder
3
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: April 17, 1897
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Died: December 7, 1975

 21 E. B. White

E. B. White
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 11, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, United States
Died: October 1, 1985

 22 Djuna Barnes

Djuna Barnes
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 12, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Storm King Mountain, New York, United States
Died: June 18, 1982

 23 Claude McKay

Claude McKay
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 15, 1889
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Clarendon Parish
Died: May 22, 1948

Claude McKay was a poet who played an influential role in the Harlem Renaissance. Remembered for his work If We Must Die, a poem written in response to mob attacks on African-American communities by white Americans, McKay was named the national poet of Jamaica in 1977. For his contribution to literature, he was posthumously honored with the Order of Jamaica.

 24 Sherwood Anderson

Sherwood Anderson
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 13, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ohio, United States
Died: March 8, 1941

 25 Henry Adams

Henry Adams
3
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: February 16, 1838
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Died: March 27, 1918

Historian Henry Adams was part of the famous Adams political family of the U.S and a typical Boston Brahmin elite. His best-known work remains his posthumously published autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, which won a Pulitzer Prize. He also taught medieval history at Harvard.

 26 Sholem Aleichem

Sholem Aleichem
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: March 2, 1859
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pereiaslav, Ukraine
Died: May 13, 1916

 27 Emily Post

Emily Post
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 27, 1872
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Baltimore
Died: September 25, 1960

 28 Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht
3
Famous As: Screenwriter
Birthdate: February 28, 1893
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, U.S.
Died: April 18, 1964

 29 Katherine Anne Porter

Katherine Anne Porter
3
Famous As: Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indian Creek, Texas, U.S.
Died: September 18, 1980

 30 Bret Harte

Bret Harte
3
Famous As: Author & Poet
Birthdate: August 25, 1836
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Albany, New York, U.S.
Died: May 5, 1902

 31 Nella Larsen

Nella Larsen
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: April 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Died: March 30, 1964

 32 Natalie Clifford Barney

Natalie Clifford Barney
4
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: October 31, 1876
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio, United States
Died: February 2, 1972

 33 Hilda Doolittle

Hilda Doolittle
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: September 10, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: September 27, 1961

 34 B. Traven

B. Traven
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 23, 1882
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Swiebodzin, Poland
Died: March 26, 1969

Best known for his adventure tales and chronicles of rural Mexican society, German author B. Traven was a living enigma, as his real name remains unknown. Some believe he was the German revolutionary Ret Marut. His work The Treasure of the Sierra Madre was later made into an Academy Award-winning film.

 35 Sarah Josepha Hale

Sarah Josepha Hale
4
Famous As: American author
Birthdate: October 24, 1788
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Newport, New Hampshire, United States
Died: April 30, 1879

 36 Robert W. Chambers

Robert W. Chambers
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: May 26, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: December 16, 1933

 37 William Dean Howells

William Dean Howells
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 1, 1837
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Martins Ferry, Ohio, U.S.
Died: May 11, 1920

 38 Frank Norris

Frank Norris
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 5, 1870
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, U.S
Died: October 25, 1902

 39 Ring Lardner

Ring Lardner
3
Famous As: Columnist
Birthdate: March 6, 1885
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Niles, Michigan, United States
Died: September 25, 1933

 40 Edward Bellamy

Edward Bellamy
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: March 26, 1850
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Chicopee, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 22, 1898

 41 Thomas Dixon Jr.

Thomas Dixon Jr.
3
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: January 11, 1864
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shelby, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 3, 1946

 42 Paul Gallico

Paul Gallico
3
Famous As: Journalist, Screenwriter, Novelist, Writer, Children's writer
Birthdate: July 26, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City
Died: July 15, 1976

 43 Edward Stratemeyer

Edward Stratemeyer
3
Famous As: Publisher
Birthdate: October 4, 1862
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Elizabeth, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 13, 1905

 44 Max Eastman

Max Eastman
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: January 4, 1883
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Canandaigua, New York, United States
Died: March 25, 1969

 45 Mary Roberts Rinehart

Mary Roberts Rinehart
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 12, 1876
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (now Pittsburgh), United States
Died: September 22, 1958

 46 Edith Hamilton

Edith Hamilton
3
Famous As: Educator
Birthdate: August 12, 1867
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dresden, Saxony
Died: May 31, 1963

 47 DuBose Heyward

DuBose Heyward
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: August 31, 1885
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Charleston, South Carolina, United States
Died: June 16, 1940

 48 Stephen Vincent Benét

Stephen Vincent Benét
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 13, 1943

 49 Conrad Aiken

Conrad Aiken
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 5, 1889
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia, United States
Died: August 17, 1973

 50 Charles W. Chesnutt

Charles W. Chesnutt
3
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: June 20, 1858
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: November 17, 1932