1808 in literature
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In poetry: 1805 1806 1807 -1808- 1809 1810 1811
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The year 1808 in literature involved some significant events and new books.
- January 3 - The Examiner, "A Sunday paper, on politics, domestic economy, and theatricals", is established in London by John Hunt, edited by his brother Leigh Hunt.
- September 20 - The first Theatre Royal, Covent Garden in London, established in 1732, is destroyed by fire along with most of the scenery, costumes and scripts. Rebuilding begins in December.
- Opening of the Théâtre St. Philippe, New Orleans.
- Charles Thomson's Bible Translation from the Greek (Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Covenant) is printed by Jane Aitken in Philadelphia (United States).
- Sophia Bouverie
- James Norris Brewer - Mountville Castle
- Stéphanie Félicité, comtesse de Genlis - The Earl of Cork
- Sarah Green - Tankerville Family
- Elizabeth Hamilton - The Cottagers of Glenburnie
- Anthony Frederick Holstein - Sir Owen Glendowr
- Heinrich von Kleist - The Marquise of O (novella)
- Francis Lathom - The Northern Gallery
- Caroline Maxwell - Alfred of Normandy
- Charles Maturin - The Wild Irish Boy
- Henrietta Rouviere Mosse - The Old Irish Baronet
- Henrietta Sykes - Margiana
- Elizabeth Thomas - The Husband and Wife
- Anne Trelawney
- R. P. M. Yorke - Valley of Collares
- Mary Julia Young - The Star of Fashion
- James Nelson Barker - The Indian Princess
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Faust: The First Part of the Tragedy (published)
- Heinrich von Kleist
- Adam Oehlenschläger
- Baldur hin Gode
- Hakon Jarl
- William Blake - Milton (probable date)
- Friedrich Hölderlin - "Der Rhein" and "Patmos"
- Walter Scott - Marmion
- Charles Fourier - The Theory of the Four Movements
- J. F. Fries - Neue oder anthropologische Kritik der Vernunft (New Critique of Reason)
- Johann Heinrich Jung - Theorie der Geisterkunde
- Karl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel - Über die Sprache und Weisheit der Indier
- Gotthilf Heinrich von Schubert - Ansichten von der Nachtseite der Naturwissenschaft
- January 27 – David Strauss, German theologian and writer (died 1874)
- February 5 – Carl Spitzweg, German poet (died 1885)
- February 16 – Gustave Planche, French critic (died 1857)
- March 25 – José de Espronceda, Spanish poet (died 1842)
- May 22 – Gérard de Nerval, French poet and translator (died 1855)
- June 17 – Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian poet (died 1845)
- June 28 – James Spedding, English author and editor (died 1881)
- July 10 – Solomon Northup, African-American memoirist (died c.1864)
- September 9 – Wendela Hebbe, Swedish playwright, journalist and novelist (died 1899)
- October 21 – Julia Maitland, English writer and traveler (died 1864)
- November 2 – Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, French novelist (died 1889)
- February 12 - Anna Maria Bennett, novelist (born c.1760)
- May 2 - John Collins, poet (born 1742)
- September 5 - John Home, Scottish poet (born 1722)
- September 13 - Saverio Bettinelli, Italian man of letters (born 1718)
- November 4 - Melchiore Cesarotti, Italian poet (born 1730)
- December 28 - John Duncan, miscellaneous writer (born 1721)