The Pride And Prejudice novelist, born in 1775 in Hampshire, beat Harry Potter creator JK Rowling to top spot. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory author Roald Dahl came joint third with William Shakespeare.
The poll of 2,000 Britons was for Amazon Books to celebrate the work of its charitable arm, the Amazon Literary Partnership.
Lord Of The Rings creator JRR Tolkien and Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also made the list.
A fifth of those quizzed believe they have a novel in them – they just need the space and time to write it.
Darren Hardy, at the online giant, said: “British authors continue to be much loved by readers.
However, when it comes to writing we know that there are so many more, often underrepresented, voices out there.”