Love and romance is very important to the French people and so are many other good things like great food, fine wine and mouth-watering sweets. The French love listening to good music and they have many great musicians. However, this is not all that the French has to offer. Just as they give it their all in almost everything they do, they also have very great writers known in the entire world.

These writers make the French literature what it is today and help to define French history much better through their books. Without them, no one would ever know how good the French could write. No one would know much about medieval literature, renaissance literature and other French literature genres. Below are the groundbreaking French authors you should make a point of reading at one time or another.

Voltaire

Candide Ou L’Optimisme by Voltaire

Voltaire is a historian best known for his book “Candide”. During the 18th – century there was movement called the age of enlightenment intellectual movement that Voltaire was actively part of. He loved coffee and reports said he took around 50 cups in any single day. Maybe that is where he got all his energy to write.

Victor Hugo

Les Misérables. Fiction by Victor Hugo

The revered Victor Hugo’s books are some of the most widely read in many parts of the world. “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” and “Les Miserables” are very popular books and masterpieces written to thrill by this talented author. His favorite quote was “To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.”

Marcel Proust

Proust, Marcel (1871 – 1922)

Marcel Proust is probably one of the most celebrated legendary French authors. Best known for his classic masterpiece 3200 page novel “In Search of Lost Time”, his grave at the Pere Lachaise cemetery continues to attract hundreds of tourists and readers from the entire world.

Guy De Maupassant

Boule de Suif short story by Guy de Maupassant

He was a protégé of Guy Maussant and an author of short stories. His short stories are very modern and many movies are in circulation today from Guy de Maupassant’s short stories. He is second to Shakespeare according to many reports and for anyone to get the same mention as Shakespeare then he must be good.

Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary novel of Gustave Flaubert, 1856

Gustave  known for his masterpiece classic “Madame Bovary “is another renowned and one of the best French literary giants France has ever produced. One of his best-known protégés was Guy de Maupassant. Many consider Gustave Flaubert to be a great inspiration

Émile Zola

Émile Zola, 1840-1902

The Captain Dreyfuss scandal is very hard to forget in France. This scandal of the 19th – century shot Émile Zola to fame when he wrote a letter to the then French president seeking justice for Captain Dreyfuss. The letter that he titled J’accuse received a wide coverage and thousands of people read it. It also caused a big rift between liberals and conservatives in France. The letter however helped with captain Dreyfuss exoneration eight years later. Zola has other novels, plays and short stories to his name. He is arguably one of the most groundbreaking authors of French history.

Charles Baudelaire

The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

Poetry was and still is very important to the French people. One of the authors who popularized French poetry was Charles Baudelaire. “The flowers of Evil” (Les Fleurs du mal) is one of his best-known book of poems. He paved way for other like-minded poets like Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine. Some of his true followers even referred to him as the “king of poets” and a “true god” going to show just how good his work is.

Albert Camus

The stranger by Albert Camus, 1942

Author of “The Stranger”, Albert Camus book is about the philosophy of the absurd and philosophical movement of the 20th – century that assumes people are wholly responsible for what they make themselves look or come out as. His favorite quote was “Still, obviously, one can’t be sensible all the time.”   He spent almost all his life studying about existentialism. During his free time, Camus spent days having a relaxing time at the café de Flore and Parisian café.

There are very many other prolific French authors that are worth a mention, but the above eight authors are some of the best well-known known French literature authors. They will not only inspire you through their literary work but will leave you asking for more. They are all worth a try.