Walter Ernest Allen (23 February 1911 – 28 February 1995) was an English literary critic and novelist. He is best known for his classic study The English Novel: a Short Critical History (1951).
He was born in Aston, Birmingham; he drew on his working-class roots for All in a Lifetime (1959), generally considered his best novel. He was educated at King Edward's Grammar School and the University of Birmingham, graduating in 1932 — his friends at that period included Henry Reed and Louis MacNeice.
He taught and took numerous temporary academic positions; he also worked in journalism, being at one time literary editor of the New Statesman; and was a broadcaster. In 1967 he took a position as Professor of English Studies at the University of Ulster.
- Innocence is Drowned (1938) novel
- Blind Man's Ditch (1939) novel
- Living Space (1940) novel
- The Black Country (1946) novel
- Rogue Elephant (1946) novel
- Arnold Bennett (1948) criticism
- Writers on Writing (1948) editor
- Reading a Novel (1949)
- Dead Man Over All (1950) novel
- Joyce Cary (1953) criticism
- The English Novel; a Short Critical History (1954)
- The Novel Today (1955)
- Six Great Novelists (1955)
- All in a Lifetime (1959) novel
- George Eliot (1964) criticism
- Tradition and Dream: The English and American Novel from the Twenties to Our Time (1964)
- As I Walked Down New Grub Street (1981) autobiography
- The Short Story in English (1981)
- Get Out Early (1986)
- Accosting Profiles (1989)