British Women Writers

Throughout history, there have been many British women writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great British female writers such as J. K. Rowling, Joan Collins, Jane Austen, Julie Andrews, Agatha Christie.

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 J. K. Rowling

J. K. Rowling
115
Famous As: Author of Children's Fantasy Series, 'Harry Potter'
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

Agatha Christie
24
Famous As: Writer
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

Jane Austen
19
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 16, 1775
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hampshire, England
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

Virginia Woolf
18
Famous As: Novelist
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

Mary Shelley
13
Famous As: Novelist
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

Charlotte Bronte
11
Famous As: Novelist
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

George Eliot
6
Famous As: Poet & Novelist
Birthdate: November 22, 1819
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nuneaton, 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.

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 8 Emily Brontë

Emily Brontë
8
Famous As: Novelist
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.

 9 Mary Berry

Mary Berry
5
Famous As: Food Writer, TV Presenter
Birthdate: March 24, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bath, Somerset

Author of over 75 cookbooks, Mary Berry has also hosted several culinary shows, such as Mary Berry Cooks. The Guardian ranked her the second-best-dressed person over 50. A CBE and DBE recipient, she has also received the Guild of Food Writers Lifetime Achievement Award and an honorary degree.

 10 Mary Wollstonecraft

Mary Wollstonecraft
7
Famous As: Novelist
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.

 11 Zoe Kazan

Zoe Kazan
8
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: September 9, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

 12 Lucy Hawking

Lucy Hawking
4
Famous As: Journalist, Novelist, Writer
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.

 13 Jane Hawking

Jane Hawking
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: March 29, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St Albans, Hertfordshire, England

Jane Hawking is an English teacher and author. She is best known as the ex-wife of popular physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. She was married to Hawking for 30 years, during which she doubled up as his caretaker. Jane Hawking took good care of Stephen Hawking despite struggling from depression, for which she is much-respected in the scientific community.

 14 Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Phoebe Waller-Bridge
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: July 14, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London, England

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is credited with creating and writing one of the greatest TV series of the 21st century, Fleabag. She is also famous for contributing as the executive producer and head writer of another highly-acclaimed TV series, Killing Eve. In 2020, she was named in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people in the world.

 15 Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter
5
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: July 28, 1866
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kensington
Died: December 22, 1943
Born into an affluent English family, Beatrix Potter grew up amidst nature and developed a love for animals. She grew up to be a natural scientist, conservationist, and illustrator, and is best remembered for her children's books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, which featured animals.

 16 Sophie Hunter

Sophie Hunter
4
Famous As: Theatre Director
Birthdate: March 16, 1978
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London

Sophie Hunter is an English playwright, opera director, and former performer. She is credited with co-founding and popularizing a theatre company called Boileroom, which was honored with the Samuel Theatre Trust Award in 2007 for its play The Terrific Electric, which marked Sophie Hunter's directorial debut.

 17 Daphne du Maurier

Daphne du Maurier
5
Famous As: Writer
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.

 18 Katie Piper

Katie Piper
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 12, 1983
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Andover, Hampshire, England

Model Katie Piper made headlines after being attacked with acid by her former boyfriend. She underwent a face restoration surgery to rebuild her damaged face. She then became an activist, released an autobiography, and created a documentary. She also owns a foundation to help burn victims and has hosted Bodyshockers.

 19 Joan Collins

Joan Collins
7
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: May 23, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paddington, London, United Kingdom
Joan Collins, sister of renowned author Jackie Collins, is best known for her Golden Globe-winning role of Alexis Carrington in Dynasty, an iconic soap of the 1980s. She has also written several books, including beauty books, memoirs, and novels. A seasoned theater actor, she also received the DBE and OBE.

 20 Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell
8
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 6, 1972
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Watford

Geri Halliwell is a British singer-songwriter who achieved international fame as part of the popular girl group, The Spice Girls, which has sold more than 85 million records worldwide. Also a well-known philanthropist, Geri Halliwell has worked closely with the United Nations Population Fund, becoming its goodwill ambassador in 1998. She is widely regarded as a girl power icon.

 21 Michaela Coel

Michaela Coel
11
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England

 22 P. L. Travers

P. L. Travers
6
Famous As: Writer
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.

 23 Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton
4
Famous As: Children's writer
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.

 24 Pippa Middleton

Pippa Middleton
4
Famous As: Socialite, Author
Birthdate: September 6, 1983
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Reading, Berkshire, England
Philippa Charlotte Matthews, better known as Pippa Middleton, is the younger sister of Kate Middleton, or Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. She soared to fame after appearing as the maid of honor at Kate’s wedding to Prince William. She is a columnist and editor and has also authored a book.

 25 Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning
6
Famous As: English poet of the Victorian era, best known for her 'Sonnets From the Portuguese' and 'Aurora Leigh.
Birthdate: March 6, 1806
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kelloe, Durham, England
Died: June 29, 1861

 26 Lady Colin Campbell

Lady Colin Campbell
7
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 17, 1949
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Andrew Parish, Jamaica

Jamaican-born British writer, socialite, and TV personality, Lady Colin Campbell, is known for publishing four books about the British royal family, including a biography of Diana, Princess of Wales. While her books about the royal family made her popular, she also faced criticism for some of her claims. She once kindled controversy for supporting sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, on TV.

 27 Sue Perkins

Sue Perkins
7
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: September 22, 1969
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Croydon, London, England
Sue Perkins soared to fame as part of the comedy duo Mel and Sue, with Mel Giedroyc, and co-hosted The Great British Bake Off, with her. Sue has also hosted Insert Name Here and has also authored two autobiographical works. An LGBT icon, she is dating TV host Anna Richardson.

 28 Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson
9
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 15, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: The London Welbeck Hospital, London, England, United Kingdom

Sarah Ferguson is one of the members of the British royal family. She started working with several charity organizations after marrying Prince Andrew, Duke of York. Even after her divorce, she has continued working with organizations like the American Cancer Society. In 2020, she set up her own foundation called Sarah's Trust.

 29 Jackie Collins

Jackie Collins
6
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 4, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Died: September 19, 2015

 30 Mary Seacole

Mary Seacole
4
Famous As: Heroine of the Crimean War
Birthdate: November 23, 1805
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kingston, Jamaica
Died: May 14, 1881

Mary Seacole was a British-Jamaican nurse, businesswoman, and healer. She played a major role during the Crimean War, providing aid for wounded servicemen and nursing them back to health. In 1991, Seacole was posthumously honored with the Jamaican Order of Merit. In 2004, she was named the greatest black Briton for her contribution during the war.

 31 Caroline Aherne

Caroline Aherne
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: December 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ealing, London, England
Died: July 2, 2016
BAFTA-winning comedian Caroline Aherne is remembered for her portrayal of the character Mrs. Merton on various shows, such as Frank Sidebottom's Fantastic Shed Show and The Mrs Merton Show. Fans also loved her as Denise Royle in the sitcom The Royle Family and as a narrator on Gogglebox. 

 32 Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 22, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kermanshah, Iran
Died: November 17, 2013

 33 Emerald Fennell

Emerald Fennell
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hammersmith, London, England, UK

 34 Darcey Bussell

Darcey Bussell
5
Famous As: Ballerina
Birthdate: April 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London

 35 Rachel Khoo

Rachel Khoo
5
Famous As: Cook
Birthdate: August 28, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Croydon, United Kingdom

Renowned British cook Rachel Khoo was born to a Malaysian Chinese father and an Austrian mother. Trained at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, she started her own restaurant at her small Belleville apartment. She later gained fame for her cookbook and her BBC series named The Little Paris Kitchen.

 36 Sara Pascoe

Sara Pascoe
6
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: May 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dagenham, London, England

Born to musician Derek Pascoe, comedian Sara Pascoe was raised by her mother amid poverty after her parents’ divorce. Initially a tour guide, she later stepped into comedy and never looked back. She is known for shows such as 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Twenty Twelve.

 37 Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy
4
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 23, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

 38 Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti
5
Famous As: Poet, Writer, Hymnwriter
Birthdate: December 5, 1830
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London
Died: December 29, 1894

 39 Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson
11
Famous As: Television Personality, Gourmet, Food Writer
Birthdate: January 6, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Daughter of Nigel Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigella Lawson has written several bestselling cookbooks and hosted many culinary shows. Winner of the British Book Award and the Guild of Food Writers Award, Nigella has previously worked as an editor and freelance journalist and also owns a cookware range.

 40 Gertrude Bell

Gertrude Bell
6
Famous As: Writer, Diplomat
Birthdate: July 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Washington, United Kingdom
Died: July 12, 1926

Born into a wealthy English family, Gertrude Bell was an explorer at heart and went down in history for her journeys across the Middle East and for helping establish the Hāshimite dynasty in Iraq. Though she graduated in history from Oxford, being a woman, she wasn’t awarded a degree.

 41 Iris Murdoch

Iris Murdoch
4
Famous As: Novelist
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.

 42 Sheila Hancock

Sheila Hancock
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: February 22, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Blackgang, Isle of Wight, England, UK

 43 Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith
6
Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Essayist
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.

 44 Emma Walton Hamilton

Emma Walton Hamilton
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: November 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Being the daughter of actor-singer Julie Andrews and set designer Tony Walton, Emma Walton Hamilton was no stranger to the entertainment world as a child. While she began her career as an actor and then moved on to stage direction, she also excelled as a children’s author, with the Dumpy series.

 45 Kerry Katona

Kerry Katona
4
Famous As: Actor, Television presenter, Singer, Writer, Autobiographer
Birthdate: September 6, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Warrington

 46 Nadiya Hussain

Nadiya Hussain
6
Famous As: Television personality
Birthdate: December 25, 1984
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Nadiya Hussain is a British TV chef, television presenter, and author. She is best known for winning the sixth series of The Great British Bake Off. Over the years Nadiya Hussain has become a household name in the UK by hosting shows like Nadiya's Family Favourites. In 2017, she was mentioned in Debrett's' 500 most influential people in the UK list.

 47 Nikki Grahame

Nikki Grahame
4
Famous As: Television Personality, Writer
Birthdate: April 28, 1982
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Northwood, London, England, United Kingdom
Died: April 9, 2021

 48 Jane Fallon

Jane Fallon
4
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 9, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London, England, UK

 49 Katharine Gun

Katharine Gun
4
Famous As: Linguist
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Taiwan, Taiwan

 50 Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 29, 1810
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chelsea, England
Died: November 12, 1865