Mr Fowles, considered a master of multi-layered storytelling and ambiguous fate, died on Saturday, said a spokeswoman for his publishers, Jonathan Cape.He had been unwell for several years following a stroke in 1988.
Mr Fowles was born in Leigh-on-Sea, in Essex, the son of a tobacconist and a school teacher. He loathed his suburban background and once said that he had spent the rest of life trying to escape. After winning a place at Bedford School he went on to Oxford to study French, before becoming a teacher. He worked in schools in France and Greece before writing his first book, The Collector, in just four weeks, Times Online reports.
The book - the story of a lonely city clerk who wins the pools - was released in 1963 and was an overnight success, paving the way for a full-time writing career.
Two years later The Magus followed, a part-autobiographical account of an Oxford graduate who moves to a Greek island and becomes drawn into a psychological 'godgame'. Complex and disturbing, it became a cult best-seller in the US.
The French Lieutenant's Woman, a Victorian pastiche of a scandalous love affair between an aristocrat and the outcast lover of a French officer, was turned into an Oscar-nominated film starring Jeremy Irons and Meryl Streep in 1981. The novel was first published in 1969. It was seen as a new kind of writing, a historical novel, with layers of truth, fantasy and self-awareness.
His other novels were"Daniel Martin" (1977), "Mantissa" (1982) and "A Maggot" (1985). He also produced a short story collection, poetry and works of non-fiction.
Fowles died at his home in Lyme Regis, Dorset on Saturday after battling a long illness, BBC News reports. A.M.