1873 in literature
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1870 1871 1872 -1873- 1874 1875 1876
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In poetry: 1870 1871 1872 -1873- 1874 1875 1876
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The year 1873 in literature involved some significant literary events and new works.
- March 3
- The United States Congress enacts the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any "obscene, lewd, or lascivious" books through the mail.
- First performance of W. S. Gilbert and Gilbert Arthur à Beckett's play The Happy Land at the Royal Court Theatre, London, parodying William Ewart Gladstone, Robert Lowe, and Acton Smee Ayrton, respectively the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and First Commissioner of Works.
- March 18 - Leo Tolstoy begins his novel Anna Karenina, which is serialized in Russkiy vestnik (Moscow) between 1873 and 1877.
- July - Thomas Hardy's novel A Pair of Blue Eyes concludes serialization in Tinsley's Magazine (begun September 1872) and is published in book format in London. Although Hardy's third novel, it is the first to bear his name on publication in the U.K.
- July 10 - Paul Verlaine shoots at and wounds Arthur Rimbaud in Brussels.
- November - The children's periodical St. Nicholas Magazine begins publication by Scribner and Company in New York under the editorship of Mary Mapes Dodge.
- December 18 - Louisa May Alcott's family satire "Transcendental Wild Oats" is published in the newspaper The Independent.
- Serialization of the novel Night and Morning (original author not acknowledged, but in fact by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1841) as Xinxi xiantan by "Lishao Jushi" (probably Jiang Qizhang) begins in the Shanghai monthly Yinghuan suoji, the first secular fiction translated from English into Chinese.
- Charles M. Barnes opens his book printing business in Wheaton, Illinois, a forerunner of publisher Barnes & Noble.
- Bertha Kinsky becomes governess to the Suttner family.
- Louisa May Alcott - Work: A Story of Experience
- Hortense Allart - Les enchantements de Prudence avec George Sand
- Ambrose Bierce - The Fiend's Delight
- Mary Elizabeth Braddon - Publicans and Sinners
- Rhoda Broughton
- Bankim Chatterjee - The Poison Tree
- Wilkie Collins
- Émile Gaboriau - La Corde au cou
- Thomas Hardy - A Pair of Blue Eyes
- William Dean Howells - A Chance Acquaintance
- George MacDonald - The History of Gutta-Percha Willie, the Working Genius
- Karolina Světlá - Nemodlenec
- Anthony Trollope - Phineas Redux (serialization)
- Mark Twain (with Charles Warner) - The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today
- Jules Verne - Around the World in Eighty Days (Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours, book publication and first English translation)
- Émile Zola - Le Ventre de Paris
- Henrik Ibsen - Emperor and Galilean (first published) and Love's Comedy (first performed)
- Émile Zola - Thérèse Raquin
- Paul Bourget - Au bord de la mer
- Robert Browning - Red Cotton Night-Cap Country
- Tristan Corbière - only published work included in Les Amours Jaunes
- Edmund Gosse - On Viol and Flute
- Arthur Rimbaud - Une Saison en Enfer
- Samuel Butler - The Fair Haven
- Alexandre Dumas (posthumous) - Grand Dictionnaire de cuisine
- Émile Littré - Dictionnaire de la langue française
- Walter Pater - Studies in the History of the Renaissance
- Leslie Stephen - Essays on Free Thinking and Plain Speaking
- Charlotte Mary Yonge - Life of John Coleridge Patteson
- January 1 – Mariano Azuela, Mexican writer (died 1952)
- January 7 – Charles Péguy, French poet and essayist (killed in action 1914)
- January 9 – Hayim Nahman Bialik, Russian-born Hebrew-language poet (died 1934)
- January 20 – Johannes V. Jensen, Danish writer and Nobel Prize winner (died 1950)
- January 28 – Colette (Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette), French novelist (died 1954)
- April 22 – Ellen Glasgow, American novelist (died 1945)
- May 17 – Henri Barbusse, French novelist (died 1935)
- June 16 – Lady Ottoline Morrell (Ottoline Cavendish-Bentinck), English arts patron arts (died 1938)
- September 8 – Alfred Jarry, French dramatist (died 1907)
- October 10 – George Cabot Lodge, American poet (died 1909)
- December 7 – Willa Cather, American novelist (died 1947)
- December 17 – Ford Madox Ford, English novelist (died 1939)
- January 9 – Sigurd Abel, German historian (born 1837)
- January 10 – Francesco Dall'Ongaro, Italian poet and dramatist (born 1808)
- January 18 – Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, English novelist and playwright (born 1803)
- February 1 – Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Cuban-born novelist (born 1814)
- February 7 – Sheridan Le Fanu, Irish writer (born 1814)
- February 24 – Spiridon Trikoupis, Greek author and orator (born 1788)
- May 8 – John Stuart Mill, English philosopher (born 1806)
- May 22 – Alessandro Manzoni, Italian poet and novelist (born 1785)
- May 27 – Pierre-Antoine Lebrun, French poet (born 1785)
- August 15 – Edward Meredith Cope, English classicist (born 1818)
- September 25 – Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi, Italian novelist (born 1804)
- September 26 – Julius Roerich Benedix, German dramatist (born 1811)
- September 28 – Émile Gaboriau, French novelist (born 1832)
- October 4 – Margaret Gatty, English children's author (born 1809)
- November 6 – Manuel Bretón de los Herreros, Spanish playwright (born 1796)
- Jones, W. Gareth, George Eliot's Adam Bede and Tolstoy's conception of Anna Karenina, pp. 473–481, retrieved 2013-04-29
- Sutherland, John; Fender, Stephen (2011). "10 July: Poet shoots poet". Love, Sex, Death & Words: surprising tales from a year in literature. London: Icon. pp. 257–8. ISBN 978-184831-247-0.
- The Independent, Vol. 25 No. 1307, 18 December 1873, pp. 1569-71.
- Hanan, Patrick (2004), "The First Novel Translated Into Chinese", Chinese Fiction of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries: Essays, New York: Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0-231-50914-5, retrieved 2013-07-19
- Turner, Betty N. (2006). The Noble Legacy: The Story of Gilbert Clifford Noble, Cofounder of the Barnes & Noble and Noble & Noble Book Companies. iUniverse. ISBN 9780595374786.
- "Bertha Freifrau (Baroness) von Suttner". Timeline of Nobel Prize Winners. Retrieved 2013-07-19.