If you were to stop and think about it for a moment, I'm sure you'd realise that the times we're living in today are markedly different from the way that people lived in the past. Many people didn't have any formal education beyond primary school only a generation ago, and before that many people left school quite early in life. Educational credentials were nowhere near as stringent as they are now. It was possible - and even typical, for people to leave school to go out and work. Times have changed, and today it's nearly impossible to live a rich, fulfilling, comfortable life without a formal education. But that wasn't the case for people born and raised in different times, so many of the authors who were writing books back then didn't have the same level of education as those writing today; however, many were self-educated. And unless you're going to argue that the only means to claim that you're educated is to produce a diploma, then they were educated, but educated differently. It doesn't take a fancy degree to be a good writer. Plenty of authors have made a name for themselves recounting their experiences with poverty and violence. It's not as though the only good writing in the world gets churned out by people who come from money and attended elite schools. It would be senseless to compile a list of authors who don't have an impressive educational background because that was the norm for a very long time.