1872 in literature
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|... 1862 . 1863 . 1864 . 1865 . 1866 . 1867 . 1868 ...
1869 1870 1871 -1872- 1873 1874 1875
... 1876 . 1877 . 1878 . 1879 . 1880 . 1881 . 1882 ...
In poetry: 1869 1870 1871 -1872- 1873 1874 1875
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The year 1872 in literature involved some significant literary events and new works.
- July 7 - Paul Verlaine abandons his family to go to London with Arthur Rimbaud.
- December 3 - George Smith presents the first translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh to a meeting of the Society of Biblical Archaeology in London.
- The Federation of Madrid expels all signatories of a subversive article in La Emancipación (including Paul Lafargue).
- George MacDonald goes on a lecture tour of the United States.
- Rose la Touche rejects John Ruskin for the last time.
- Lafcadio Hearn becomes a reporter on the Cincinnati Daily Enquirer.
 New books
- Machado de Assis - Ressurreição
- R. D. Blackmore - The Maid of Sker
- Mary Elizabeth Braddon - To the Bitter End
- Rhoda Broughton
- Samuel Butler -Erewhon
- Edward George Bulwer-Lytton - The Parisians
- Wilkie Collins - Poor Miss Finch
- Mary Coolidge - What Katy Did
- Alphonse Daudet - Tartarin de Tarascon
- Fyodor Dostoevsky - The Possessed
- Alexandre Dumas, père - Création et Rédemption
- Thomas Hardy - Under the Greenwood Tree
- Mór Jókai
- Sheridan Le Fanu -
- Margaret Oliphant - At His Gates
- Bayard Taylor - Beauty and The Beast, and Tales of Home
- Anthony Trollope - The Golden Lion of Granpere
- Jules Verne
- Emile Zola - La Curée
 New drama
- Prosper Mérimée - La Chambre bleue (published posthumously)
- August Strindberg - Master Olof
- Ivan Turgenev - A Month in the Country (first performed).
- Friedrich Nietzsche - The Birth of Tragedy (Die Geburt der Tragödie aus dem Geiste der Musik)
- Henry Wilson - History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, vols. 1 & 2
- January 31 - Zane Grey, Western novelist (died 1939)
- May 31 - Heath Robinson, British cartoonist/illustrator (died 1944)
- June 27 - Paul Laurence Dunbar, African-American poet, novelist, and playwright (died 1906)
- August 24 - Max Beerbohm, essayist and parodist (died 1956)
- January 21 - Franz Grillparzer, Austrian poet and dramatist (born 1791)
- March 4 - Johannes Carsten Hauch, Danish poet (born 1790)
- March 10 - Giuseppe Mazzini, Italian philosopher, journalist and politician (born 1805)
- April 1 - Frederick Maurice, theologian (born 1805)
- April 20 - Ljudevit Gaj, Croatian linguist and journalist (born 1809)
- May 13 - Moritz Hartmann, German poet (born 1821)
- June 1 - Charles Lever, novelist (born 1806)
- August 8 - Heinrich Abeken, German theologian (born 1809)
- October 21 - Jean-Henri Merle d'Aubigné, Swiss historian (born 1794)
- November 16 - William Gilham, military writer (born 1818)
- December 23 - Théophile Gautier, poet, novelist (born 1811)
- "7 juillet 1872. Ce salaud de Verlaine abandonne son épouse malade pour s'enfuir avec Rimbaud". Le point.fr, 6 July 2012 (French). Accessed 29 April 2013
- Publications programme note for the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford revival (1994)