20 Most Prolific Authors and Writers in Literary History

A list of 20 of the most prolific authorers in literary history including their names, numbers, and bios.


1. MARY FAULKNER (1903-1973) 904 books

South African writer Mrs. Mary Faulkner, whom the Guinness Book of World Records ranks as history's most prolific novelist, wrote under six pen names, including Kathleen Lindsay. Her novels include There Is No Yesterday, Wind of Desire, and Harvest of Deceit.

2. LAURAN PAINE (b. 1916) 850 + books

American paperback novelist using 70 pen names. Paine has written mostly westerns, such as The Man from Wells Fargo (1961), and some mysteries and romances.

3. PRENTISS INGRAHAM (1843-1904) 600 + books

American dime novelist who occasionally wrote a 35,000-word book overnight. He wrote 200 books on Buffalo Bill alone.

3. JOZEF IGNACY KRASZEWSKI (1812-1887) 600 + books

Polish writer of novels, plays, poetry, essays, biographies, history, memoirs, and political sketches. His novels included Szalona (The Crazy Woman).

5. ENID MARY BLYTON (1900?-1968) 600 books

English children's writer whose books are popular worldwide. Her best-known series are the Noddy, Famous Five, and Secret Seven ones.

6. JOHN CREASEY (1908-1973) 564 books

Gordon Ashe, Michael Halliday, and J. J. Maric were among this English mystery writer's many pen names. His Inspector West and Gideon series are the most popular.

7. SUYUTI (1445-1505) 561 books

Arab encyclopedist who wrote on almost every aspect of science and literature. His best-known works are commentaries on the Koran.

8. URSULA BLOOM (b. 1898?) 520 + books

English romance novelist with many pen names. Her books include Doctor on Call and The Flying Nurse. She also has written some nonfiction under her own name.

9. GEORGES SIMENON (b. 1903) 500 + books

Belgian-born mystery writer with more than 200 books published under his own name and over 300 published under 17 pen names. His most famous character is Inspector Maigret.

10. HOWARD ROGER GARIS (1873-1962) 500 + books

American children's writer, best known as the creator of Uncle Wiggily. Garis also contributed books to Edward L. Stratemeyer's many series (see below).

11. ARTHUR WILLIAM GROOM (1898-1964) 400 + books

British writer of children's books and adult fiction and nonfiction under many different pen names. A specialist in westerns, he wrote "novelizations" about real people such as Roy Rogers and Davy Crockett as well as books about fictional heroes like Hopalong Cassidy.

11. EDWARD ZANE CARROLL JUDSON (1823-1886) 400 + books

American dime novelist and magazine writer, better known as Ned Buntline. Judson gave William F. Cody the nickname Buffalo Bill and wrote the first stories about him.

11. EDWARD L. STRATEMEYER (1862-1930) 400 + books

American founder of the publishing syndicate that puts out the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys and other popular children's series. Using many pen names, he wrote more than 400 novels himself and outlined hundreds more for staff writers. His daughter, Harriet S. Adams, succeeded him.

14. BAKIN (1767-1848) 300 + books

Japanese novelist. One of the most popular writers of his day, Bakin is best known for his 106-volume novel, Hakkenden (Tale of Eight Dogs).

14. EVELYN EVERETT GREEN (1856-1932) 300 + books

British author of both adult and children's books, often writing as "Cecil Adair." Her last book was The Imprudence of Carol.

14. NIGEL MORLAND (b. 1905) 300 + books

British mystery writer with several pen names. His best-known character is Mrs. Pym of Scotland Yard.

17. D. S. ROWLAND (b. 1928) 286 + books

British paperback novelist who uses more than 50 pen names. His output includes westerns, science fiction, and such romances as Highland Nurse and Wayward Nurse.

18. BARBARA CARTLAND (b. 1902) 280 ± books

British writer of historical fiction who also uses the name Barbara McCorquodale. In recent years she has published over 20 books per year, including The Curse of the Clan and I Seek the Miraculous.

19. ALEXANDRE DUMAS pere (1802-1870) 277 books

The famous French author of The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo said to Napoleon III that he had written 1,200 volumes, but that, of course, was in the days of multivolume novels. (Musketeers originally filled eight volumes.) His complete works were collected in 277 volumes, most of which he wrote with collaborators.

20. L. T. MEADE (1854-1914) 258 books

British writer of stories for girls of all ages. Her most popular books include The Autocrat of the Nursery and A World of Girls.

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