This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1845.
- January 10 – Robert Browning begins his correspondence with his future wife, fellow poet Elizabeth Barrett; on May 20 they meet for the first time. She begins writing her Sonnets from the Portuguese.
- April – Nathaniel Hawthorne first publishes the short story "P.'s Correspondence", a pioneering example of alternate history in which real-life writers and political figures who have died (such as Keats, Shelley and Byron) are described as still living, and vice versa. The story appears in The United States Magazine and Democratic Review and is included in Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse (1846).
- April 24 – Alfred de Musset and Honoré de Balzac are awarded the French Legion of Honour.
- Spring–Summer – The essays in Thomas de Quincey's Suspiria de Profundis appear in Blackwood's Magazine.
- October 1 – Prosper Mérimée's novella Carmen is published in its original form in Revue des deux Mondes (first book publication in 1846).
- December – Future American President Brevet Second Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant plays Desdemona in an amateur production of Othello at Corpus Christi, Texas.
- December 30 – American actress Charlotte Cushman plays Romeo to her sister Susan's Juliet, in a production of Romeo and Juliet at the Haymarket Theatre in London.
- Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales are first translated into English, beginning with "The Little Mermaid" in Bentley's Miscellany.
- Benjamin Disraeli's "Young England" roman à thèse, Sybil; or, The Two Nations, is published in London; he receives a £10,000 advance.
- Heinrich Hoffmann – Der Struwwelpeter (Shock-headed Peter, original title: Lustige Geschichten und drollige Bilder mit 15 schön kolorierten Tafeln für Kinder von 3–6 Jahren, in verse)
- April 17 – Lucy Bethia Walford, Scottish novelist and artist (died 1915)
- April 24 – Carl Spitteler, Swiss poet (died 1924)
- April 30 – Alexander Anderson, Scottish poet (died 1909)
- May 14 – L. S. Bevington, English anarchist poet and essayist (died 1895)
- May 16 – Amy Dillwyn, Welsh novelist (died 1935)
- May 17 – Jacint Verdaguer, Catalan poet (died 1902)
- July 18 – Tristan Corbière, French poet (died 1875)
- October 14 – Olindo Guerrini, Italian poet (died 1916)
- October 25 – Rebecca Agatha Armour, Canadian novelist (died 1891)
- November 19 – Agnes Giberne, English children's writer (died 1939)
- November 25 – José Maria de Eça de Queirós, Portuguese novelist (died 1900)
- February 22 – Rev. Sydney Smith, English writer and wit (born 1771)
- May 3 – Thomas Hood, English poet and humorist (rheumatic heart condition, born 1799)
- May 12
- May 26 – Jónas Hallgrímsson, Icelandic poet (accident, born 1807)
- June 17 – Rev. Richard Harris Barham (Thomas Ingoldsby) English comic poet (ulcerated larynx, born 1788)
- July 12 – Henrik Wergeland, Norwegian poet and dramatist (tuberculosis, born 1808)
- October 26 – Carolina Oliphant, Lady Nairne, Scottish songwriter and collector (born 1766)
- November 11 – Maria Gowen Brooks, American poet (tropical fever, born c. 1794)