1859 in literature
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In poetry: 1856 1857 1858 -1859- 1860 1861 1862
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The year 1859 in literature involved some significant new books.
- February 1 - George Eliot's Adam Bede, her first full-length novel, is published by John Blackwood in the United Kingdom. Contemporary reviews are largely positive, describing it as "of the highest class" and "first-rate"; however, it is also accused of being the "vile outpourings of a lewd woman's mind" and circulating libraries refuse to stock it or would only provide it 'under the counter'.
- February 4 - German Biblical scholar Constantin von Tischendorf identifies substantial portions of the mid-4th century Codex Sinaiticus at Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai and arranges for its presentation to his patron, Tsar Alexander II of Russia at Saint Petersburg.
- April 30 - Charles Dickens's new weekly magazine All the Year Round is published for the first time, succeeding Household Words.
- September - 23-year-old Isabella Beeton's compilation Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management begins publication as a partwork supplement to The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine (published by her husband Samuel Orchart Beeton in London) shortly after the birth of her second son.
- November 26 - Wilkie Collins' sensation novel The Woman in White, an early example of mystery fiction, begins serialization in All the Year Round.
- R. M. Ballantyne - The World of Ice
- Charles Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities
- Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Village of Stepanchikovo (Село Степанчиково и его обитатели, Selo Stepanchikovo i evo obitateli)
- George Eliot
- Ivan Goncharov - Oblomov (Обломов)
- Mary Jane Holmes - Dora Deane
- Hector Malot - Les Amants ("The Lovers")
- George Meredith - The Ordeal of Richard Feverel
- Viktor Rydberg - Den siste Atenaren ("The Last Athenian")
- George Sand
- Elle et lui
- L'Homme de neige
- Jean de la Roche
- Harriet Beecher Stowe - The Minister's Wooing
- Leo Tolstoy - Family Happiness (Семейное счастье, Semeynoye Schast'ye; published in Russkiy vestnik)
- Ivan Turgenev - Home of the Gentry (Дворянское гнездо, Dvorjanskoe gnezdo; published in Sovremennik, January)
- Harriet E. Wilson - Our Nig: Sketches from the Life of a Free Black
- Dion Boucicault - The Octoroon
- Dinabandhu Mitra - Nil Darpan
- Alexander Ostrovsky - The Storm
- Aleksey Pisemsky - A Bitter Fate (Горькая судьбина, Gorkaya sudbina)
- See also 1859 in poetry
- Edward Fitzgerald - The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám
- Alfred Tennyson - Idylls of the King
- Charles Darwin - On the Origin of Species
- William Henry Harvey - Phycologia Australica
- Washington Irving - The Life of George Washington, Volume 5
- Søren Kierkegaard - The Point of View of My Work as an Author (published posthumously; first full publication)
- Karl Marx - Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy
- John Stuart Mill - On Liberty
- Samuel Smiles - Self Help
- March 8 – Kenneth Grahame, Scottish-born children's author (died 1932)
- March 26 – A. E. Housman, English poet (died 1936)
- May 2 – Jerome K. Jerome, English humorous writer (died 1927)
- May 22
- June 8 – Mary Cholmondeley, English writer (died 1925)
- July 8 – Annie Shepherd Swan, Scottish novelist (died 1943)
- August 4 – Knut Hamsun, Norwegian Nobel Prize–winning author (died 1952)
- September 24 – S. R. Crockett, Scottish novelist (died 1914)
- September 26 – Irving Bacheller, American journalist and writer (died 1950)
- October 18 – Henri Bergson, French philosopher and winner of the 1927 Nobel Prize in literature (died 1941)
- December 5 – Sidney Lee, born Solomon Lee, English biographer (died 1926)
- December 15 – L. L. Zamenhof, Russo-Polish initiator of Esperanto (died 1917)
- January 20 – Bettina von Arnim, German novelist (born 1785)
- January 21 – Henry Hallam, English historian (born 1777)
- January 28 – William H. Prescott, American historian (born 1796)
- February 13 – Eliza Acton, English cookery writer and poet (born 1799)
- April 14 – Lady Morgan, Irish novelist (born c. 1781)
- April 16 – Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian and political author (tuberculosis, born 1805)
- April 29 – Dionysius Lardner, Irish scientific writer (born 1793)
- July 23 – Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, French poet (born 1786)
- September 2 – Delia Bacon, American playwright and Shakespearean scholar (born 1811)
- October 4 – Karl Baedeker, German guidebook publisher (born 1801)
- November 7 – Auguste Hilarion, French politician and writer (born 1769)
- November 16 – William Spalding, Scottish writer and scholar (born 1809)
- November 20 – Mountstuart Elphinstone, Scottish historian (born 1779)
- November 28 – Washington Irving, American fiction writer,biographer and historian (born 1783)
- December 8 – Thomas de Quincey, English essayist (born 1785)
- December 16 – Wilhelm Grimm, German collector of folk tales (born 1786)
- December 28 – Thomas Macaulay, English-born poet, historian and politician (heart attack, born 1800)
- "Adam Bede". SparkNotes. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
- The Athenæum.
- "Adam Bede". The Times (23278) (London). 1859-04-12. p. 5.
- Merkle, Denise (2009). "Viztelly & Company as (ex)change agent". In Milton, John; Bandia, Paul Fadio (ed). Agents of Translation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. p. 91. ISBN 9789027216908.
- John Milton; Paul Fadio Bandia (1 January 2009). Agents of Translation. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 91. ISBN 90-272-1690-8.