British Women Poets

Vote for Your Favourite British Women Poets

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

 1 
Carol Ann Duffy
10
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
 2 
Charlotte Bronte
12
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.
 3 
Emily Brontë
(Novelist)
Emily Brontë
11
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.
 4 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(English poet of the Victorian era, best known for her 'Sonnets From the Portuguese' and 'Aurora Leigh.)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
7
Birthdate: March 6, 1806
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kelloe, Durham, England
Died: June 29, 1861
 5 
George Eliot
(English Novelist, Poet and One of the Leading Writers of the Victorian Era)
George Eliot
8
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.

 6 
Christina Rossetti
(Poet, Writer, Hymnwriter)
Christina Rossetti
9
Birthdate: December 5, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 29, 1894
 7 
Iris Murdoch
(Irish & British Novelist Best Known for Her Novels: 'Under the Net', 'The Sea, the Sea' and 'The Bell')
Iris Murdoch
6
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.

 8 
Dorothy L. Sayers
(English crime writer and poet.)
Dorothy L. Sayers
8
Birthdate: June 13, 1893
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: December 17, 1957
 9 
Angela Carter
(Author of 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'Nights at the Circus')
Angela Carter
5
Birthdate: May 7, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Eastbourne, England
Died: February 16, 1992
 10 
Frieda Hughes
(Painter, Poet)
Frieda Hughes
12
Birthdate: April 1, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London, England
 11 
Diana Wynne Jones
(Known for Writing Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Novels for Children and Young Adults)
Diana Wynne Jones
5
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.

 12 
Aphra Behn
(Playwright)
Aphra Behn
7
Birthdate: July 10, 1640
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Canterbury, England
Died: April 16, 1689
 13 
Anne Bradstreet
7
Birthdate: March 20, 1612
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Northampton, England
Died: September 16, 1672
 14 
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
(Writer)
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
6
Birthdate: May 15, 1689
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 21, 1762
 15 
Genesis P-Orridge
(Singer-songwriter)
Genesis P-Orridge
15
Birthdate: February 22, 1950
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Height: 5'4" (163 cm)
 16 
Anne Askew
(English Poet)
Anne Askew
7
Birthdate: 1521 AD
Birthplace: Stallingborough, England
Died: July 26, 1546
 17 
Radclyffe Hall
(Poet)
Radclyffe Hall
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Died: October 7, 1943
 18 
E. Nesbit
(Author)
E. Nesbit
6
Birthdate: August 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kennington, London, United Kingdom
Died: May 4, 1924
 19 
Emilia Lanier
6
Birthdate: 1569
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bishopsgate, London, England
Died: March 31, 1645
 20 
Vita Sackville-West
(Writer)
Vita Sackville-West
8
Birthdate: March 9, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Knole, Kent, England
Died: June 2, 1962
 21 
Arlo Parks
(Singer-songwriter, Poet)
Arlo Parks
2
Birthdate: August 9, 2000
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
 22 
Rumer Godden
(Author)
Rumer Godden
5
Birthdate: December 10, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Eastbourne, Sussex, England
Died: November 8, 1998
 23 
Stevie Smith
(Poet, Novelist)
Stevie Smith
3
Birthdate: September 20, 1902
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Kingston upon Hull, England
Died: March 7, 1971
 24 
Caroline Norton
3
Birthdate: March 22, 1808
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London
Died: June 15, 1877

Being the granddaughter of playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, author Caroline Norton had her first experience at writing in her teens. Her beauty and charm, however, made her failed barrister husband jealous. The rift in their marriage caused her to successfully campaign for married women’s right to property and their children’s custody.

 25 
Elizabeth Siddal
(Painter, Poet, Art model, Visual artist, Model)
Elizabeth Siddal
6
Birthdate: July 25, 1829
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Holborn
Died: February 11, 1862
 26 
Eleanor Farjeon
(British Children's Story Writer Known for Her Work 'Morning Has Broken')
Eleanor Farjeon
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1881
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Strand, London, England
Died: June 5, 1965

Eleanor Farjeon was an English author who wrote children's stories, poetry, biography, and satire. During her illustrious career, Farjeon received several prestigious literary awards. The Eleanor Farjeon Award is presented every year by the Children's Book Circle to honor Eleanor Farjeon's life and career.

 27 
Renée Vivien
(Poet)
Renée Vivien
3
Birthdate: June 11, 1877
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: November 18, 1909
 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 
Olivia Manning
(Novelist)
Olivia Manning
3
Birthdate: March 2, 1908
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Died: July 23, 1980
 30 
Evelyn Underhill
(Writer)
Evelyn Underhill
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Died: June 15, 1941
 31 
Penelope Fitzgerald
(Novelist)
Penelope Fitzgerald
0
Birthdate: December 17, 1916
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lincoln, England
Died: April 28, 2000
 32 
Mary Sidney
(Countess)
Mary Sidney
3
Birthdate: October 27, 1561
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Tickenhill Palace, Bewdley, Worcs, England
Died: September 25, 1621
 33 
Denise Levertov
(Poet)
Denise Levertov
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ilford, England
Died: December 20, 1997
 34 
Lady Flora Hastings
(Poet)
Lady Flora Hastings
1
Birthdate: February 11, 1806
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Died: July 5, 1839
 35 
Stella Gibbons
(Writer)
Stella Gibbons
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: December 19, 1989
 36 
Mary Lamb
(Author)
Mary Lamb
4
Birthdate: December 3, 1764
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 20, 1847
 37 
Valerie Eliot
(Second Wife and Widow of the Nobel Prize-Winning Poet T. S. Eliot)
Valerie Eliot
4
Birthdate: August 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Leeds, England
Died: November 9, 2012
The second wife of legendary English poet T.S. Eliot, Valerie Eliot had longed to work with the poet since she was a 14-year-old schoolgirl and he was 50. She eventually married him when she was 30 and he was 68. As his literary executor, she released many of his significant posthumous works.
 38 
Dorothy Wordsworth
(Author)
Dorothy Wordsworth
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1771
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Cockermouth, England
Died: January 25, 1855
 39 
Sylvia Townsend Warner
(Novelist)
Sylvia Townsend Warner
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harrow on the Hill, Harrow, England
Died: May 1, 1978
 40 
Nancy Cunard
(Writer)
Nancy Cunard
3
Birthdate: March 10, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, England, United Kingdom
Died: March 17, 1965
 41 
Mina Loy
(Poet)
Mina Loy
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1882
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 25, 1966
 42 
Elizabeth Jennings
(Poet)
Elizabeth Jennings
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boston, England
Died: October 26, 2001
 43 
Harriette Wilson
(Author)
Harriette Wilson
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1786
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mayfair, London, England
Died: March 10, 1845
 44 
Anna Laetitia Barbauld
(British Poet, Essayist, Literary Critic, Editor, and Author of Children’s Literature)
Anna Laetitia Barbauld
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1743
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kibworth-Harcourt, Leicestershire, England
Died: March 9, 1825

Best known for including political and social themes in her writings, Anna Letitia Barbauld was a renowned poet, essayist, and children’s author. She was the only daughter of Unitarian John Aikin and taught at the Palgrave Academy. She is remembered for her iconic hymn “Life! I Know Not What Thou Art.”

 45 
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
(Poet)
Letitia Elizabeth Landon
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1802
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chelsea, London, England
Died: October 15, 1838
 46 
Mary Webb
(Novelist)
Mary Webb
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1881
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Shropshire, England
Died: October 8, 1927
 47 
Eliza Haywood
(British author)
Eliza Haywood
3
Birthdate: 1693 AD
Birthplace: England
Died: February 25, 1756
 48 
Charlotte Smith
(Writer)
Charlotte Smith
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1749
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 24, 1806
 49 
Kathleen Raine
(Poet)
Kathleen Raine
3
Birthdate: June 14, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ilford, England
Died: July 6, 2003
 50 
Charlotte Mew
(Poet)
Charlotte Mew
3
Birthdate: November 15, 1869
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, England
Died: March 24, 1928