1731 in literature
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|List of years in literature (table)|
|... 1721 . 1722 . 1723 . 1724 . 1725 . 1726 . 1727 ...
1728 1729 1730 -1731- 1732 1733 1734
... 1735 . 1736 . 1737 . 1738 . 1739 . 1740 . 1741 ...
In poetry: 1728 1729 1730 -1731- 1732 1733 1734
|Art . Archaeology . Architecture . Literature . Music . Philosophy . Science +...|
The year 1731 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- January 1 - The Gentleman's Magazine: or, Trader's monthly intelligencer is launched by Edward Cave in London.
- July 1 - Benjamin Franklin and fellow-subscribers start the Library Company of Philadelphia.
- August 20 - The Hollandsche Spectator is launched by Justus van Effen in Amsterdam.
- October 23 - Fire at Ashburnham House in London damages the nationally-owned Cotton library, housed here at this time. The librarian, Dr. Bentley, leaps from a window with the priceless Codex Alexandrinus under one arm. The original manuscripts of Asser's Life of King Alfred (9th century) and The Battle of Maldon (Old English) are destroyed; the 5th-century 'Cotton Genesis' is largely destroyed; the unique manuscript of Beowulf is damaged but saved.
- The life and revelations of Austrian Beguine Agnes Blannbekin (died 1315) are published from her religious confessions for the first time as Venerabilis Agnetis Blannbekin but all copies are confiscated by the Society of Jesus.
- Alexander Pope completes the original writing of his poem An Essay on Man with the first two "Epistles: Of the Nature and State of Man, with Respect to" (1) "The Universe" and (2) "Himself as an Individual" (the third and fourth are written and published in 1733/34).
- Jesuit father Joseph Henri Marie de Prémare translates The Orphan of Zhao (13th century) into French as L'Orphelin de la Maison de Tchao, the first Chinese play to have been translated into any European language.
- Anonymous - The Life of Mr. Cleveland, Natural Son of Oliver Cromwell
- Nicholas Amhurst as "Caleb D'Anvers" - A Collection of Poems
- Thomas Bayes - Divine Benevolence
- Samuel Boyse - Translations and Poems Written on Several Subjects
- Ralph Cudworth - A Treatise Concerning Eternal and Immutable Morality (posth.)
- Robert Dodsley
- An Epistle from a Footman in London to the Celebrated Stephen Duck
- A Sketch of the Miseries of Poverty
- Henry Fielding - The Tragedy of Tragedies; or, The Life and Death of Tom Thumb
- Aaron Hill - Advice to the Poets
- William King - An Essay on the Origin of Evil (transl. from Latin)
- William Law - The Case of Reason
- William Oldys - A Dissertation Upon Pamphlets
- Arabella Plantin - Love Led Astray (Or, the Mutual Inconstancy)
- Alexander Pope - An Epistle to the Right Honourable Richard Earl of Burlington ("Epistle to Burlington," and known to contemporaries as "Of False Taste")
- Abbé Prévost - Manon Lescaut
- Elizabeth Rowe - Letters Moral and Entertaining
- Jean Terrasson - Sethos, Taken from Private Memoirs of the Ancient Egyptians
- Joseph Trapp - The Works of Virgil
- Diego de Torres Villarroel - Barca de Aqueronte
- Matthew Concanen, Edward Roome, & Sir William Yonge - The Jovial Crew (opera, adapted from Richard Brome's A Jovial Crew)
- Theophilus Cibber - The Lover
- Charles Coffey & John Mottley - The Devil to Pay (musical adaptation of the play by Thomas Jevon)
- Thomas Cooke - The Triumphs of Love and Honour
- Henry Fielding - The Letter-Writers
- Philip Frowde - Philotas
- Aaron Hill - Athelwold
- Charles Johnson - The Tragedy of Medea
- George Lillo
- The London Merchant
- George Barnwell
- David Mallet - Eurydice
- Joseph Mitchell - The Highland Fair
- James Ralph - The Fall of the Earl of Essex
- November 25 – Gustaf Fredrik Gyllenborg, Swedish writer (died 1808)
- November 26 – William Cowper, English poet and cleric (died 1800)
- December 12 – Erasmus Darwin, English naturalist, natural philosopher and poet (died 1802)
- February 20 – Frances Norton, Lady Norton, English poet and religious writer (born c. 1644)
- April 21 – Daniel Defoe, English novelist and travel writer (born c. 1660)
- May 11 – Mary Astell, English feminist writer (born 1666)
- June 20 – Ned Ward, English wit and essayist (born c. 1660)
- December 26 – Antoine Houdar de la Motte, French dramatist (born 1672)
- Unknown date – Mohammed ibn Zakri al-Fasi, Moroccan poet, mystic and theologian (date of birth unknown)