Famous 19th Century Short Story Writers

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Rabindranath Tagore
16
Birthdate: May 7, 1861
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kolkata, West Bengal, India
Died: August 7, 1941

Rabindranath Tagore was an Indian polymath who contributed greatly to the fields of literature, art, and philosophy. Referred to as the Bard of Bengal, Tagore is credited with reshaping Bengali literature and music. The first non-European to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, Tagore is also credited with composing the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

 2 
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
(British Writer Who Created the Character of Sherlock Holmes)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
12
Birthdate: May 22, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Scotland
Died: July 7, 1930
Physician-turned-author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is remembered for creating the iconic character Sherlock Holmes. He wrote four novels and 56 short stories on Holmes’s detective adventures and also created the characters Professor Challenger and Brigadier Gerard. A sports lover, he had dabbled in cricket, football, and bodybuilding, too.
 3 
Jack London
(Novelist & Journalist)
Jack London
10
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.

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 4 
Anton Chekhov
(One of the Greatest Writers of All Time)
Anton Chekhov
5
Birthdate: January 29, 1860
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Taganrog, Russia
Died: July 15, 1904

Anton Chekhov was a Russian short-story writer and playwright. Widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of short fiction, Chekhov's works have influenced the progression of the modern short story. As a playwright, Anton Chekhov is credited with influencing the rise of modernism in theatre, along with August Strindberg and Henrik Ibsen.

 5 
Herman Melville
(Novelist & Short Story Writer of the American Renaissance Period Best Known for His Works 'Moby-Dick' & 'Typee')
Herman Melville
4
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.  

 6 
O. Henry
(Short Story Writer)
O. Henry
10
Birthdate: September 11, 1862
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Greensboro, North Carolina
Died: June 5, 1910
William Sydney Porter, better known by his pseudonym, O. Henry, is remembered as one of the world’s greatest short story writers. One of his most notable works is The Gift of the Magi. His signature style included plot twists in the end. He was once jailed for embezzlement. 
 7 
Nathaniel Hawthorne
(Novelist and Short Story Writer)
Nathaniel Hawthorne
6
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.

 8 
Joseph Conrad
(Known for Short Stories and Novels Like Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness and the Secret Agent)
Joseph Conrad
6
Birthdate: December 3, 1857
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berdychiv, Ukraine
Died: August 3, 1924

Joseph Conrad was a Polish-British writer. Considered one of the greatest English-language novelists of all time, Conrad is credited with bringing a non-English sensibility into English-language literature. Many of his works have inspired several films, TV series, and video games. His anti-heroic characters and narrative style have influenced many authors like Salman Rushdie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and T. S. Eliot.

 9 
Guy de Maupassant
(French Short Story Writer and Naturalist )
Guy de Maupassant
6
Birthdate: August 5, 1850
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tourville-sur-Arques, France
Died: July 6, 1893

Guy de Maupassant was a French author who wrote 300 short stories during his illustrious career. Widely regarded as the father of the modern short story, Maupassant's stories are characterized by economy of style and depicted human lives in pessimistic terms,

 10 
Thomas Mann
(German Novelist Who Won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Thomas Mann
4
Birthdate: June 6, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lübeck, Germany
Died: August 12, 1955
German author Thomas Mann, known for his epic novels, was part of the Hanseatic Mann family of authors. He depicted his own family in his novel Buddenbrooks. He won the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. During Hitler’s reign, he fled to Switzerland and then to the U.S.
 11 
Ambrose Bierce
(Journalist & Writer, soldier)
Ambrose Bierce
6
Birthdate: June 24, 1842
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Meigs County, Ohio, United States
Died: December 1, 1914
 12 
Nikolai Gogol
(Playwright)
Nikolai Gogol
5
Birthdate: April 1, 1809
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Velyki Sorochyntsi, Ukraine
Died: March 4, 1852

Nikolai Gogol was a Ukrainian author who redefined Russian literature with his novels such as Dead Souls and his short stories such as The Overcoat and Diary of a Madman. Most of his works were influenced by Ukrainian folklore. He was typically fond of the grotesque as a literary element.

 13 
Saki
(Writer)
Saki
6
Birthdate: December 18, 1870
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sittwe, Myanmar (Burma)
Died: November 14, 1916
 14 
Leo Tolstoy
(One of the Greatest Authors of All Time)
Leo Tolstoy
6
Birthdate: September 9, 1828
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Yasnaya Polyana, Russia
Died: November 20, 1910

Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, is widely considered as one of the greatest authors ever. After experiencing a profound moral crisis in the 1870s, Tolstoy went through a phase of spiritual awakening, which had a great impact on his subsequent works that incorporated ideas on nonviolent resistance. These works influenced personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, thereby effectively changing the course of history.

 15 
Rudyard Kipling
(Journalist, Poet & Novelist)
Rudyard Kipling
5
Birthdate: December 30, 1865
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mumbai, India
Died: January 18, 1936

English journalist, short-story writer, poet, and novelist Rudyard Kipling is best remembered for his fiction work The Jungle Book. He was born in India and many of his works are inspired by his life in the country. He was one of the most popular English writers in the late 19th and early 20th century.

 16 
Louisa May Alcott
6
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.
 17 
Katherine Mansfield
(One of the Most Highly Regarded Short Story Writers of the 20th Century)
Katherine Mansfield
6
Birthdate: October 14, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Wellington
Died: January 9, 1923

Katherine Mansfield was a New Zealand modernist writer best remembered for her short stories. Her life and career inspired several films, plays, novels, and TV series. In 1973, she became the subject of a BBC miniseries titled A Picture of Katherine Mansfield. In 2011, actress Kate Elliott played Mansfield in a TV biopic titled Bliss.

 18 
Fyodor Dostoevsky
(Best Known for His Novella Notes from The 'Underground')
Fyodor Dostoevsky
6
Birthdate: November 11, 1821
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: February 9, 1881
Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky is remembered as one of the pioneers of existentialism. He is best known for psychological and philosophical themes in his works, such as Crime and Punishment and The Idiot. He was arrested for being critical of Tsarist Russia and spent a 4-year prison term in Siberia.
 19 
Hermann Hesse
(Poet, Novelist & Painter Who Won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Hermann Hesse
4
Birthdate: July 2, 1877
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Calw, Germany
Died: August 9, 1962

German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter Hermann Hesse received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. He explored individuals’ search for authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality in his works. An intense and headstrong person from childhood, he developed an early interest in reading. He started writing as a young man and became an influential author in the German-speaking world. 

 20 
Gilbert K. Chesterton
(One of the Greatest Writers of the 20th Century Best Known as the 'Prince of Paradox')
Gilbert K. Chesterton
4
Birthdate: May 29, 1874
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died: June 14, 1936

Gilbert K. Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, and art critic. A prolific writer, he composed around 80 books, hundreds of poems, around 200 short stories, and 4,000 essays. Often referred to as the "prince of paradox", he had as many detractors as he had admirers. He is considered a successor to Victorian authors like Matthew Arnold and John Ruskin.

 21 
P G Wodehouse
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Guildford, England
Died: February 14, 1975
 22 
Honoré de Balzac
(French Novelist and Playwright Known for His Magnum Opus 'La Comédie humaine')
Honoré de Balzac
4
Birthdate: May 20, 1799
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tours, France
Died: August 18, 1850

Honoré de Balzac was a French playwright and novelist. Since his works gave a detailed, unfiltered representation of society, Honoré de Balzac is generally considered one of the founders of realism and an important figure in European literature. Renowned for creating multi-faceted characters, Balzac influenced several popular writers like Charles John Huffam Dickens, Émile Zola, Henry James, and Gustave Flaubert.

 23 
Sinclair Lewis
(Nobel Prize Winner in Literature)
Sinclair Lewis
4
Birthdate: February 7, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sauk Centre
Died: January 10, 1951
 24 
Maxim Gorky
(Russian Writer Best Known for His Works 'The Lower Depths', 'Mother', 'Chelkash' and 'Children of the Sun')
Maxim Gorky
4
Birthdate: March 28, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Died: June 18, 1936

Maxim Gorky was a writer and political activist. He is best remembered for founding the socialist realism literary method. Gorky, who was nominated for the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature on five occasions, published several novels that were later adapted into plays, films, and operas. In 1938, Valery Zhelobinsky adapted Gorky's novel Mother into an opera.

 25 
Edith Wharton
5
Birthdate: January 24, 1862
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: August 11, 1937
 26 
Katherine Anne Porter
(Journalist, Essayist, Writer, Novelist)
Katherine Anne Porter
3
Birthdate: May 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Indian Creek, Texas, U.S.
Died: September 18, 1980
 27 
Munshi Premchand
(Novelist and Author)
Munshi Premchand
6
Birthdate: July 31, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lamhi, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died: October 8, 1936
Indian author Dhanpat Rai Srivastava, better known by his pseudonym, Munshi Premchand, was one of the most celebrated Hindi-language writers of the 20th century. He initially wrote as Nawab Rai. Some of his greatest works include the novels Godaan, Idgah, and Karmabhoomi. He also wrote short stories and plays. 
 28 
Elizabeth Gaskell
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chelsea, England
Died: November 12, 1865
 29 
Ivan Turgenev
(Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet & Popularizer of Russian Literature in the West)
Ivan Turgenev
3
Birthdate: November 9, 1818
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oryol, Russia
Died: September 3, 1883

It is believed Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev was highly inspired by his dominant mother in his younger days and thus created strong female characters in his novels later. He is remembered for popularizing Russian literature and realism in the West. One of his most notable works was Father and Sons.

 30 
James Thurber
(Cartoonist, Author, Journalist & Playwright)
James Thurber
3
Birthdate: December 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: November 2, 1961
 31 
Damon Runyon
(Writer)
Damon Runyon
3
Birthdate: October 4, 1880
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Manhattan, Kansas, United States
Died: December 10, 1946
 32 
Luigi Pirandello
(Italian Playwright and Novelist & Winner of 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature)
Luigi Pirandello
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Agrigento, Italy
Died: December 10, 1936

Luigi Pirandello was an Italian novelist, short story writer, poet, and dramatist. Best remembered for his plays, Pirandello was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934. An Italian nationalist, Pirandello supported Fascism; he asked the Fascist government to melt down his Nobel Prize medal for the Abyssinia Campaign.

 33 
Knut Hamsun
(One of the Most Influential Norwegian Writers & Winner of the 1920 Nobel Prize in Literature.)
Knut Hamsun
3
Birthdate: August 4, 1859
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lom Municipality, Norway
Died: February 19, 1952

Nobel Prize-winning Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, a leading figure of neo-romanticism, is best remembered for his novel Hunger, which narrated the tale of a starving writer. With little education, he had started his career as a shoemaker’s apprentice. He supported the Nazi occupation of Norway and was later imprisoned.

 34 
Claude McKay
(Writer)
Claude McKay
3
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.

 35 
Maurice Leblanc
(French Novelist Known as the Creator of the Fictional Gentleman Thief and Detective ‘Arsène Lupin')
Maurice Leblanc
3
Birthdate: December 11, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: November 6, 1941

French author Maurice Leblanc is best known for creating the character Arsène Lupin, who has been part of 60 of Leblanc’s crime stories and novels. He quit his law studies to become an author. Several of his films have been turned into films. He also earned the Légion d'Honneur.

 36 
Sherwood Anderson
3
Birthdate: September 13, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ohio, United States
Died: March 8, 1941
 37 
Selma Lagerlöf
(First Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature)
Selma Lagerlöf
3
Birthdate: November 20, 1858
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Mårbacka, Värmland, Sweden
Died: March 16, 1940

Selma Lagerlöf was a Swedish teacher and author. In 1909, Lagerlöf became the first woman to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1914, she became the first woman to be elected as a member by the Swedish Academy. In 1991, Selma Lagerlöf was depicted on a Swedish banknote, becoming the first woman to enjoy this honor, albiet posthumously.

 38 
Carlo Collodi
(Italian Author and Journalist Known for His Fairy Tale Novel 'The Adventures of Pinocchio')
Carlo Collodi
3
Birthdate: November 24, 1826
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: October 26, 1890

Carlo Collodi was an Italian journalist, author, and humorist. He is best remembered for his popular children's novel The Adventures of Pinocchio. The novel and its title character Pinocchio achieved international recognition when Disney adapted it into an animated musical fantasy film titled Pinocchio; the film went on to become one of the greatest films ever produced by Disney.

 39 
William Maugham
(Novelist & Playwright)
William Maugham
4
Birthdate: January 25, 1874
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 15, 1965
 40 
Henry Lawson
(Writer)
Henry Lawson
3
Birthdate: June 17, 1867
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Grenfell
Died: September 2, 1922

Henry Lawson was an Australian bush poet and writer. Often referred to as Australia's greatest short story writer, Lawson is one of the best-known Australian fiction writers and poets of the colonial period. Also a nationalist, Henry Lawson contributed immensely to a popular Australian magazine named The Bulletin. In 1949, he was featured in an Australian postage stamp.

 41 
Alphonse Daudet
(French Novelist Known for His Books ‘Le Petit Chose’ and ‘Fromont jeune et Risler aîné’)
Alphonse Daudet
3
Birthdate: May 13, 1840
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nîmes, France
Died: December 17, 1897

Alphonse Daudet was a French novelist whose books are still widely read in France. He often collaborated with his wife Julia Daudet, a famous writer, poet, and journalist. Today, several schools and colleges in France are named in his honor.

 42 
Joel Chandler Harris
3
Birthdate: December 9, 1848
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eatonton, Georgia, United States
Died: July 3, 1908
 43 
Sholem Aleichem
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1859
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Pereiaslav, Ukraine
Died: May 13, 1916
 44 
Radclyffe Hall
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1943
 45 
Natsume Sōseki
(Novelist Best Known Around the World for His Novels: 'Kokoro' and 'Botchan')
Natsume Sōseki
3
Birthdate: February 9, 1867
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ushigome, Chiba, Japan
Died: December 9, 1916

Soseki Natsume was a Japanese novelist best remembered for his novels Botchan, Kusamakura, Kokoro, and I Am a Cat. He is credited with influencing other popular writers like Kume Masao and Akutagawa Ryūnosuke. Natsume's works have caught the attention of global readers in the 21st century; since 2001 his books have been translated into 10 languages, including English and Dutch.

 46 
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
(Indian Novelist and Short Story Writer of the Early 20th Century)
Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1876
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Debanandapur, Bandel, India
Died: January 16, 1938

Iconic Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay is best known for his works such as Devdas, Srikanta, and Parineeta, many of which have been made into films. Born into a poverty-stricken family, he found solace in literature and began writing in his teens. He was a prominent figure of the Bengali Renaissance.

Leo Tolstoy bibliography
4
Birthdate: 1828 AD
Birthplace: Russia
Died: 1910 AD

Legendary Russian author Leo Tolstoy was one of the greatest novelists of the world. Best known for his realistic fiction and cult novels such as War and Peace and Anna Karenina, he had also penned plays such as The Power of Darkness and was nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times.

 48 
Robert W. Chambers
3
Birthdate: May 26, 1865
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: December 16, 1933
 49 
Liam O'Flaherty
3
Birthdate: August 28, 1896
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Inishmore, Ireland
Died: September 7, 1984
 50 
Johanna Spyri
(Swiss Novelist and Children’s Story Writer Best Known for Her Book 'Heidi')
Johanna Spyri
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1827
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hirzel, Switzerland
Died: July 7, 1901

Johanna Spyri made a significant contribution to children’s literature with her novel Heidi. After the death of her husband and her child, the Swiss author focused on charitable causes. A professor later claimed Heidi had been plagiarized by Spyri, though later studies proved the claim was baseless.