In Spanish literature, Benito Pérez Galdós is often considered second only to Cervantes.
Fortunata and Jacinta, Translation and Introduction by Agnes Moncy Gullón, Penguin Classics:
During the early years of his literary life (1865 to 1870), Galdós became acquainted with the works of the two writers who by his own admission influenced him the most: Charles Dickens and Honoré de Balzac. . . . Before going to France, Galdós had read some Balzac, but it was along the banks of the Seine that his enthusiasm grew; he began to buy the novels one by one, eventually acquiring and reading the complete works. He acknowledged Balzac and Dickens his masters even during those first years, when he was waivering between journalism and the theater.