Most lists of classic literature will cover poetry, plays and novels by the most famous exponents of these forms. But this classic literature list will look at things slightly differently because it will only consider popular writers who crossed into different forms of writing.
William Shakespeare is perhaps the most famous writer in the English language. He is known as the creator of tragedies like Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet as well as comedies like Much Ado About Nothing and histories like Henry V. But he also wrote poems. Shakespeare’s Sonnets collects 154 poems and is sold across the world.
Edgar Allan Poe is another writer who worked in different literary forms. He is known as a writer of gothic short stories but he was also a novelist and poet. In addition he pioneered the detective genre, which would later be popularized by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Poe’s poetry and short stories can be found collected in one volume and his only novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, remains in print. All of his work is in the public domain, so different editions by various publishers can be found on book shelves.
As with Poe, James Joyce also published poems and short stories. He is best known for the novels Ulysses and Finnegans Wake but his books Dubliners, which is a collection of 15 short stories, and Exiles, which is his only play, remain popular to this day.
Authors like Stephen King and Agatha Christie are thought to be amongst the best writers within their chosen genre but they also venture outside of their comfort zone to work with different genres and in different forms. King has written various novels, has published many short stories and has written screenplays covering genres as diverse as horror, fantasy and science fiction. His Dark Tower series is one of the best examples of the writer’s diversity as it covers the fantasy, science fiction, horror and western genres.
Agatha Christie is the creator of Hercule Poiret and Miss Marple and is the best selling author of all time. Her books are only outsold by the Bible. She is also a short story writer and playwright.
She’s had great success with her stage plays. The Mouse Trap is perhaps the most popular. It lays claim to the record for the longest continuous theater run. Having opened in 1952, it remains in production at the Ambassadors Theatre to this day.