1642 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1642.
- May – 35-year-old John Milton marries the teenage Mary Powell. A few weeks later she leaves him in London and returns to her family in Oxfordshire.
- May–June – English Cavalier poet Richard Lovelace is incarcerated in the Gatehouse Prison, Westminster for defying Parliament, during which time he perhaps writes "To Althea, from Prison".
- September 2 – The theatres in London are closed by the Puritan government; the "lascivious mirth and levity" of stage plays are to "cease and be forborn" for the next eighteen years, during the English Civil War and the Interregnum. Reportedly Richard Brome's A Jovial Crew is staged on the final day, and so is the last play performed during the era of English Renaissance theatre.
- John Denham's Cooper's Hill is the first example in English of a poem devoted to local description, in this case the Thames scenery around the author's home at Egham in Surrey.
- Thomas Browne – Religio Medici
- Thomas Fuller – The Holy State and the Profane State
- Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft – Nederduytsche Historiën (History of the Netherlands, publication begins)
- Sir Walter Ralegh – The Prince, or Maxims of State
- Alonso de Castillo Solórzano – La garduña de Sevilla y anzuelo de las bolsas
- Antonio Coello – Los empeños de seis horas (approximate date)
- Pierre Corneille – Polyeucte
- François le Métel de Boisrobert – La Belle Palène
- Donaires del gusto
- Pierre du Ryer – Saul
- Francis Jaques – The Queen of Corsica
- James Shirley – The Sisters
- Jan Vos – Klucht van Oene (The Farce of Oene)
- John Denham – Cooper's Hill
- Richard Lovelace – "To Althea, from Prison"
- Alonso de Castillo Solórzano – Academias morales de las musas
- March 15 (baptised) – Laurence Hyde, 1st Earl of Rochester, English politician and writer (died 1711)
- April 21 – Simon de la Loubère, French diplomat, writer, mathematician and poet (died 1729)
- April 30 – Christian Weise, German dramatist and poet (died 1708)
- December 30 – Vincenzo da Filicaja, Florentine poet (died 1707)
- Unknown dates
- Probable year of birth
- May 14 – Nicolas Ysambert, French theologian (born c. 1565)
- June 1 – Sir John Suckling, English poet (born 1609)
- July 5 – Festus Hommius, Dutch Calvinist theologian (born 1576)
- Unknown dates