The card game Authors originated in Salem, Massachusetts in 1861, first published by G. M. Whipple and A.A. Smith. Parker Brothers published a version in 1897. The simple matching type game encourages players to learn which author wrote specific titles. The player with the most matched sets of titles by each author at the end of the game wins. Authors was a perennial family favorite game from its beginning and versions are still produced today. Over the years the game has broadened to include women authors, composers, explorers, inventors, and sports figures.
Milton Bradley's "Authors Improved" card game likely included newer authors for its time. The box cover illustration is very typical of the late 19th century. By this time in card manufacture, card backs were printed with decorative designs; this pack is no exception.