1749 in literature
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The year 1749 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- February - The second part of John Cleland's erotic novel Fanny Hill (Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure) is published in London. The author is released from debtor's prison in March. The Church of England asks the Secretary of State to "stop the progress of this vile Book, which is an open insult upon Religion and good manners." In November, Cleland is arrested and charged with "corrupting the King's subjects."
- February 28 - Henry Fielding's comic novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling is published in London. Also this year, Fielding becomes magistrate at Bow Street, and first enlists the help of the Bow Street Runners, an early police force.
- April 12 - Official opening of the circular Radcliffe Library in Oxford, designed by James Gibbs.
- Sarah Fielding's novel The Governess, or Little Female Academy, generally seen as the first school story, is published in London.
- Élie Catherine Fréron's journal Lettres de la comtesse de... is suppressed but he immediately replaces it by Lettres sur quelques écrits de ce temps.
- Oliver Goldsmith graduates from Trinity College, Dublin.
- Joseph Ames - Typographical Antiquities
- George Berkeley - A Word to the Wise
- John Brown - On Liberty
- William Rufus Chetwood - A General History of the Stage
- John Cleland - The Case of the Unfortunate Bosavern Penlez
- John Gilbert Cooper - The Life of Socrates
- Henry Fielding
- The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
- The True State of the Case of Bosavern Penlez (in reply to Cleland)
- Sarah Fielding
- The Governess
- Remarks on 'Clarissa'
- David Hartley - Observations on Man, his Frame, his Duty, and his Expectations (psychology)
- Eliza Haywood - Dalinda (novel)
- Aaron Hill - Gideon
- William Law - The Spirit of Prayer
- William Mason - Isis
- Lauritz de Thurah - Den Danske Vitruvius, volume II
- Henry St. John - Letters on the Spirit of Patriotism
- John Wesley - A Plain Account of the People Called Methodists
- Gilbert West - Odes of Pindar
- Anonymous - Tittle Tattle (adaptation of Swift's Genteel and Ingenious Conversations)
- William Hawkins - Henry and Rosamund
- Aaron Hill - Meropé
- Samuel Johnson - Irene
- Moses Mendes - The Chaplet (musical, with music by William Boyce)
- Tobias Smollett - The Regicide
- James Thomson - Coriolanus
- Voltaire - Nanine
- William Collins - Ode Occasion'd by the death of Mr. Thomson
- Thomas Cooke - An Ode on Beauty
- Samuel Johnson - The Vanity of Human Wishes: The tenth satire of Juvenal, imitated
- Henry Jones - Poems
- January 13 - Maler Müller, born Friedrich Müller, German painter, narrator, lyricist and dramatist (died 1825)
- April 19 - Ōta Nampo, born Ōta Tan, Japanese comic poet and painter (died 1823)
- May 4 - Charlotte Turner Smith, English poet and novelist (died 1806)
- August 28 - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German writer (died 1832)
- December 25 - Samuel Jackson Pratt, English poet, playwright and novelist (died 1814)
- Undated - Wang Yun, Chinese poet and playwright (died 1819)
- January 22 - Matthew Concanen, Irish-born wit, poet, playwright and lawyer (born 1701)
- May - Samuel Boyse, Irish poet (born 1702/3)
- June 18 - Ambrose Philips, English poet and politician (born 1675)
- August 13 - Johann Elias Schlegel, German critic and dramatic poet (born 1719)
- September 10 - Émilie du Châtelet, French scientific writer, mistress of Voltaire and translator into French of Newton's Principia (born 1706)
- Williams, Hywel (2005). Cassell's Chronology of World History. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 313. ISBN 0-304-35730-8.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 219–220. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Guest, Ivor (1991). Dr. John Radcliffe and His Trust. London: The Radcliffe Trust. p. 149. ISBN 0-9502482-1-5.
- Foster, Shirley; Simons, Judy (1995). What Katy Read: feminist re-readings of "classic" stories for girls. University of Iowa Press. p. 195. ISBN 0-87745-493-0.
- Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6.