The two most famous, or at least biggest selling, pieces of literature are biblical and Shakespearean. Both are frauds. The gods may have inspired the Bible over time, but men reworked, reframed, and redacted much of it. It is almost unrecognizable. Yet, God is still credited with it as if the Vatican had done nothing to conceal large portions of it.
But the King James Version is little better, and its Jewish roots are far from pure. They extend back to Sumerian tales. In fact, the mythology of the world has more in common than details (pronunciation of names, peoples, lands) to differentiate it. But religion is sacred. And no one can question it.
Shakespeare, on the other hand, can be questioned. And he did not write the works attributed to him. This has long been known by scholars. But it is such an unpopular position -- because, after all, they are great works -- that few get any mileage out of saying so. There are many accolades for crediting the gay, poorly educated commoner William. This obscures the real artist, likely an aristocrat banned from writing for the decadent theater of the Elizabethan Age.
- OED: Oxford English Dictionary (3rd most read books)
- English: More than 600,000 words, over one thousand years