Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 12:57 UK

Blyton voted 'most loved writer'

Enid Blyton
Blyton, who died in 1968, created the Famous Five and Noddy

Enid Blyton is the UK's best-loved writer, according to a survey conducted for the Costa Book Awards.

The creator of the Famous Five series and the Noddy books topped the poll, followed by Roald Dahl and Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Jane Austen, the author of Sense and Sensibility was fourth and William Shakespeare came fifth.

Charles Dickens came sixth in the survey of 2,000 adults.

'Timeless' storytelling

Blyton has sold more than 500 million books worldwide.

"We are delighted that the British public has voted Enid Blyton its best-loved author," said Jeff Norton, director of Chorion, owners of the Blyton estate.

1. Enid Blyton
2. Roald Dahl
3. JK Rowling
4. Jane Austen
5. William Shakespeare

Source: Costa Book Awards

"Her storytelling is timeless and this result confirms that her books are still a firm favourite today."

Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien was voted number seven in the poll and in eighth place was mystery writer Agatha Christie.

Thriller author Stephen King was voted in at ninth place.

Both King and Rowling are the only living writers who feature in the top 10.

Beatrix Potter, best known for the Peter Rabbit stories was 10th.

The popularity of children's writers continues throughout the top 50, with Narnina creator CS Lewis, Winnie the Pooh writer AA Milne and Cat in the Hat author Dr Seuss included.

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