British Women Novelists

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Throughout history, there have been many British women novelists who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great British female novelists such as J. K. Rowling, Mary Shelley, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Brontë, Doris Lessing.
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 1 
J. K. Rowling
(Author of Children's Fantasy Series, 'Harry Potter')
J. K. Rowling
18
Birthdate: July 31, 1965
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Yate, England

JK Rowling’s story is that of rags-to-riches. She is the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, which have sold more than 500 million copies and is the best-selling book series in history. She also writes crime fiction albeit under a pen name. Rowling supports many charities and has founded Lumos, an international NGO, working for children.

 2 
Agatha Christie
(English Author Known for Her Detective Novels and Short Stories)
Agatha Christie
6
Birthdate: September 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Torquay, Devon, England
Died: January 12, 1976

Even after four decades after her death, Agatha Christie remains an influential figure in the world of literature and entertainment as most of her books continue to serve as inspiration to films, TV series, and video games. With over two billion copies of her novels sold, she holds the Guinness World Records for best-selling fiction writer of all time.

 3 
Jane Austen
(English Author Best Known for Her Novels: ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Mansfield Park’ and ‘Emma’)
Jane Austen
12
Birthdate: December 16, 1775
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Steventon, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Died: July 18, 1817

Considered one of the greatest writers in English history, Jane Austen is best known for her six major novels - Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey. Her writing was set among the British landed gentry and dealt with ordinary people in everyday ordinary situation. The author achieved great fame after her death. 

 4 
Virginia Woolf
(One of the Most Important Modernist 20th-Century Authors)
Virginia Woolf
8
Birthdate: January 25, 1882
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kensington, London, England
Died: March 28, 1941

Virginia Woolf was an English writer who pioneered a narrative mode called stream of consciousness to describe the thoughts and feelings of the narrator. Regarded as one of the most prominent modernist 20th-century writers, Woolf's works have gained much attention for inspiring feminism. Her life and work have inspired several films, novels, and plays.

 5 
Mary Shelley
(British Author Best Known for Her Gothic Novel ‘Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus’)
Mary Shelley
6
Birthdate: August 30, 1797
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Somers Town, London, England
Died: February 1, 1851
An author who was admired for her exploration of the Gothic genre, Mary Shelley is best remembered for her novel Frankenstein. She also edited the works of her husband, Romantic poet P.B. Shelley. She lost her husband to a drowning accident and eventually passed away due to brain tumor.
 6 
Charlotte Bronte
6
Birthdate: April 21, 1816
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Thornton, Yorkshire, England
Died: March 31, 1855
Charlotte Bronte, remembered for her iconic novel Jane Eyre, was one of the most significant literary figures of the 19th century. She was the eldest of the Bronte sisters who survived into adulthood. She and her sisters Emily and Anne wrote under the pseudonyms Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell.
 7 
George Eliot
(English Novelist, Poet and One of the Leading Writers of the Victorian Era)
George Eliot
5
Birthdate: November 22, 1819
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Warwickshire, England
Died: December 22, 1880

Mary Ann Evans, known by her pseudonym George Eliot, was an English poet, novelist, translator, and journalist. One of the most prominent writers of the Victorian era, Eliot's works are known for their psychological insight, realism, and detailed description of the countryside. Her novel Middlemarch was voted one of the greatest literary works in a 2007 poll conducted by Time.

 8 
Mary Wollstonecraft
5
Birthdate: April 27, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 10, 1797

Mary Wollstonecraft was an English writer, advocate of women's rights, and philosopher. Wollstonecraft, who attracted a lot of attention for her unconventional personal relationships, is widely considered a founding feminist philosopher. Although her unorthodoxy initially attracted criticisms, her advocacy of women's equality became increasingly important during the 20th century. Modern-day feminists cite her works and her life as important influences.

 9 
Emily Brontë
(Novelist)
Emily Brontë
5
Birthdate: July 30, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Thornton, West Yorkshire
Died: December 19, 1848
Victorian novelist/poet Emily Brontë, also known as Ellis Bell, is best remembered for her iconic novel Wuthering Heights. Her book of poems, written with her sisters Charlotte and Anne, was titled Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, highlighting their pseudonyms. She suffered from prolonged illness and died of tuberculosis.
 10 
Lucy Hawking
(Journalist, Novelist, Writer)
Lucy Hawking
4
Birthdate: November 2, 1970
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: England
Lucy Hawking, daughter of legendary physicist Stephen Hawking, has been a journalist with New York Magazine, The Times, and The Telegraph. She has also authored several children's books, such as George's Secret Key to the Universe. She is the VP of National Star College and also works for autism research.
 11 
Enid Blyton
(Best Selling Children's Writer of the 20th Century Known for Her Works 'Malory Towers' & 'The Famous Five')
Enid Blyton
5
Birthdate: August 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: East Dulwich, London, England
Died: November 28, 1968
Author Enid Blyton is best remembered for her iconic children’s book series such as Famous Five, Malory Towers, and Secret Seven, majorly focusing on mystery-based plots. Her works have made her the fourth-most-translated writer. She had supported animal and paediatric charities. Her story inspired the BBC film Enid.
 12 
Daphne du Maurier
(English Novelist, Biographer and Playwright)
Daphne du Maurier
4
Birthdate: May 13, 1907
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19, 1989

Daphne du Maurier was an English playwright and author. Many of her works, which have been praised for narrative craft, have been adapted into films, including three of Alfred Hitchcock's movies. Such was her popularity that she was selected along with four other Women of Achievement to be featured on a set of British stamps, which were issued in 1996.

 13 
Doris Lessing
(Novelist)
Doris Lessing
5
Birthdate: October 22, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kermanshah, Iran
Died: November 17, 2013
 14 
Iris Murdoch
(Irish & British Novelist Best Known for Her Novels: 'Under the Net', 'The Sea, the Sea' and 'The Bell')
Iris Murdoch
4
Birthdate: July 15, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: February 8, 1999

One of the most popular Irish-born British novelists, Iris Murdoch is remembered for her psychological novels, which had a good dose of sexuality, philosophy, morality, and comic elements. While she won the Booker Prize for The Sea, the Sea, the Oxford alumnus had also worked for the HM Treasury and the UN.

 15 
Jackie Collins
(Novelist)
Jackie Collins
9
Birthdate: October 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Died: September 19, 2015
 16 
Sheila Hancock
4
Birthdate: February 22, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England, UK
 17 
Anne Brontë
(Writer)
Anne Brontë
6
Birthdate: January 17, 1820
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Thornton, West Yorkshire
Died: May 28, 1849
 18 
Anne Perry
(Author of Historical Detective Fiction, Best Known for Her 'Thomas Pitt' and 'William Monk' Series)
Anne Perry
4
Birthdate: October 28, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Blackheath, London, England

Juliet Hulme, better known as Anne Perry, is the bestselling author of the widely popular William Monk and Thomas Pitt series of novels. She changed her name after a 5-year sentence for killing her friend’s mother at age 15. She has also worked as a flight attendant.

 19 
Zadie Smith
(Writer, Novelist, Essayist)
Zadie Smith
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London

Author Zadie Smith was born in London to a British father and a Jamaican mother. Her bestselling debut novel, White Teeth, won numerous awards and catapulted her to fame, while her third novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. She has also taught fiction at New York University.

 20 
Jill Gascoine
(Known for Her Role of 'Detective Inspector Maggie Forbes' in the TV Series ‘The Gentle Touch’)
Jill Gascoine
4
Birthdate: April 11, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lambeth, London, England
Died: April 28, 2020

Actor and novelist Jill Gascoine is best remembered for her role as Detective Inspector Maggie Forbes in the series The Gentle Touch and its spin-off, C.A.T.S. Eyes. She wrote three novels and also appeared in films such as King of the Wind. She was also a kidney cancer survivor.

 21 
Vera Brittain
4
Birthdate: December 29, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffordshire, England
Died: March 29, 1970
 22 
Hilary Mantel
(Writer, Novelist, Essayist, Film critic, Poet lawyer, Literary critic)
Hilary Mantel
4
Birthdate: July 6, 1952
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Glossop

British author Hilary Mantel initially studied law at LSU and then concentrated on her writing career after moving to Botswana with her geologist husband. Her Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, later catapulted her to fame. She divorced and remarried her husband later.

 23 
P. D. James
(Writer)
P. D. James
5
Birthdate: August 3, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: November 27, 2014
 24 
Jojo Moyes
(Journalist)
Jojo Moyes
4
Birthdate: August 4, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
 25 
Jacqueline Wilson
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1945
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bath, Somerset, England
 26 
Coleen Nolan
(Singer)
Coleen Nolan
4
Birthdate: March 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blackpool, England, UK
 27 
Kay Burley
(Presenter on Sky News)
Kay Burley
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wigan, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom
 28 
Ann Cleeves
(Writer)
Ann Cleeves
4
Birthdate: October 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Herefordshire, United Kingdom
 29 
Elizabeth Gaskell
3
Birthdate: September 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chelsea, England
Died: November 12, 1865
 30 
Eve Pollard
(Novelist, Journalist)
Eve Pollard
4
Birthdate: December 25, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London
 31 
Nancy Mitford
(English Novelist and Biographer Who is Known for Writing Popular Historical Biographies)
Nancy Mitford
3
Birthdate: November 28, 1904
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: June 30, 1973

Born to the 2nd Baron Redesdale, Nancy Mitford and her siblings were all homeschooled. Known as one of the brightest of the Mitford sisters, she became famous for writing semi-autobiographical novels such as The Pursuit of Love. She pioneered the use of language to distinguish between social classes in books.

 32 
Dorothy L. Sayers
(English crime writer and poet.)
Dorothy L. Sayers
3
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: December 17, 1957
 33 
Angela Carter
(Author of 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'Nights at the Circus')
Angela Carter
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eastbourne, England
Died: February 16, 1992
 34 
Jane Fallon
(Novelist)
Jane Fallon
5
Birthdate: December 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, UK
 35 
Frances Hodgson Burnett
4
Birthdate: November 24, 1849
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cheetham, Manchester, England
Died: October 29, 1924
 36 
Emma Forrest
(Journalists)
Emma Forrest
4
Birthdate: December 26, 1976
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, UK
 37 
Tess Daly
(Model and Co-Presenter of the BBC One Celebrity Dancing Show 'Strictly Come Dancing')
Tess Daly
4
Birthdate: March 29, 1969
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stockport, England
Tess Daly is best known for presenting shows such as This Time Tomorrow and Strictly Come Dancing. After being scouted outside a McDonald's outlet, she began modeling and took up assignments in Tokyo, London, and Paris. She has also written two books and appeared in Duran Duran music videos.
 38 
Louise Mensch
(Blogger)
Louise Mensch
4
Birthdate: June 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Westminster, London, England
 39 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)
Aphra Behn
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689
 40 
Meera Syal
(Actor, Comedian, Screenwriter, Film producer, Author, Novelist, Writer)
Meera Syal
5
Birthdate: June 27, 1961
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wolverhampton
 41 
Fanny Cradock
(Novelist)
Fanny Cradock
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1909
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Leytonstone
Died: December 27, 1994

Famous for dressing up in ballgowns and wearing heavy make-up while cooking up exotic dishes, celebrity chef Fanny Cradock initially co-wrote cookbooks and food columns with her husband Johnnie Cradock. She had married four times, and had committed bigamy twice. She was known for her signature husky voice and dramatic style.

 42 
Kate O'Mara
(Actress)
Kate O'Mara
3
Birthdate: August 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK
Died: March 30, 2014
 43 
E. L. James
(Author)
E. L. James
4
Birthdate: March 7, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Willesden, London, England
 44 
Val McDermid
(Writer, Novelist, Journalist)
Val McDermid
3
Birthdate: June 4, 1955
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kirkcaldy
 45 
P. L. Travers
(Best Known as the Author of 'Mary Poppins' Series of Books)
P. L. Travers
1
Birthdate: August 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Maryborough, Australia
Died: April 23, 1996

Australian-British author and Shakespearean actor Pamela Lyndon Travers, known by her pseudonym, P. L. Travers, soared to fame with her Mary Poppins series of children's books. Disney later bought the rights to her Mary Poppins series and released a film version. It was later made into a Broadway play, too.

 46 
Polly Samson
(Songwriter, Journalist, Writer, Novelist)
Polly Samson
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London
 47 
Philippa Gregory
(Novelist, Writer)
Philippa Gregory
4
Birthdate: January 9, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Nairobi
 48 
Diana Wynne Jones
(Known for Writing Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Novels for Children and Young Adults)
Diana Wynne Jones
3
Birthdate: August 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 26, 2011

Diana Wynne Jones was an English writer who is known for  fantasy and speculative fiction novels for children and young adults.. She began writing stories for her siblings at the age of thirteen. However, she was actually introduced to children's literature while reading out to her sons, starting to write on her own once her children started going to school, authoring more than forty books in her lifetime.

 49 
Millicent Fawcett
(Feminist Politcian Who Led the Women's Suffrage Movement in Britain)
Millicent Fawcett
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1847
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aldeburgh, England
Died: August 5, 1929

A pioneering leader of the women’s suffrage movement in Britain, Millicent Fawcett also co-established the Newnham College, Cambridge, which was one of the first English women’s universities. She also served as the president of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies and investigated British concentration camps during the South African War.

 50 
Vita Sackville-West
4
Birthdate: March 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knole, Kent, England, UK
Died: June 2, 1962