Blyton more popular than Shakespeare, says survey

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The Children's authors Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl have been named as the nation's best-loved writers – over Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, according to a poll of 2,000 people.

The creator of the Famous Five books topped the poll, followed by Dahl and the Harry Potter author J K Rowling. Austen, the author of enduring favourites such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Emma, is fourth in the nationwide survey of readers.

She is followed by Shakespeare, Dickens and The Lord of the Rings author J R R Tolkien.

The murder-mystery writer Agatha Christie is eighth, followed by the horror writer Stephen King, who shares the honour with Rowling of being the only two living authors to appear in the top 10. Beatrix Potter and C S Lewis, two other writers who have been read by millions of children, take 10th and 11th place.

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