1851 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1851.
- January 1 – The Caucasian Georgian theatre company gives its first performance, under the direction of Giorgi Eristavi.
- June 5 – Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin begins serialization in the American abolitionist weekly The National Era.
- June – While waiting to cross the English Channel on his honeymoon, Matthew Arnold probably begins to compose the poem "Dover Beach".
- September 29 – Marian Evans, the future George Eliot, takes up an appointment as (assistant) editor of the Westminster Review, published by John Chapman. In this capacity she will meet G. H. Lewes.
- November 14 – Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is published in full, in a single volume, for the first time, by Harper & Brothers in New York, having been previously issued on October 18 as The Whale in an abridged 3-volume edition by Richard Bentley in London.
- December 2 – The French coup d'état of 1851 prompted Victor Hugo to be a leader of an unsuccessful insurrection against it. He is forced into exile, initially to Brussels.
- December 24 – A fire at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., destroys 35,000 books, about two–thirds of the collection.
- Vartan Pasha publishes Akabi's Story (Akabi Hikayesi), an early example of a novel in the Turkish language printed in the Armenian alphabet; and Hovhannes Hisarian publishes Khosrov yev Makruhi (Khosrov and Makruhi), the first romantic novel in the Armenian language, written in the vernacular Ashkharhabar dialect. Stephanos Th. Xenos publishes his "Istanbul novel" The Devil in Turkey; Or Scenes in Constantinople in English translated from his Greek manuscript, in London.
- Albertus Willem Sijthoff establishes a publishing business at Leiden.
- Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly – Une Vieille Maîtresse (An Old Mistress)
- George Borrow – Lavengro: The Scholar, the Gypsy and the Priest (novelized memoir of Romany life)
- Mathilde Fibiger – Clara Raphael, Tolv Breve (Clara Raphael, Twelve Letters)
- Elizabeth Gaskell – Cranford (serialization begins)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne – The House of the Seven Gables
- Gottfried Keller – Der Grüne Heinrich
- Sheridan Le Fanu
- Ghost Stories and Tales of Mystery
- The Watcher
- Herman Melville – Moby-Dick
- John Ruskin – The King of the Golden River
- Jules Verne – A Drama in Mexico (Un drame au Mexique) short story
- Harriet Ward – Jasper Lyle: A Tale of Kafirland [sic]
Children and young people
- W. H. G. Kingston – Peter the Whaler
- Edward Bulwer-Lytton – Not So Bad as We Seem, or, Many Sides to a Character: A Comedy in Five Acts
- Ferdinand Dugué – Salvator Rosa
- Franz Grillparzer – The Jewess of Toledo (Die Jüdin von Toledo, written)
- Eugène Marin Labiche with Marc Michel – Un Chapeau de paille d'Italie (An Italian Straw Hat)
- Eugène Scribe – Bataille de Dames
- Matthew Arnold – "Dover Beach" (probably completed; not published until 1867)
- Heinrich Heine – Romanzero
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – The Golden Legend
- Hans Christian Andersen – In Sweden
- Edward Creasy – The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World
- Catherine Dickens (as Lady Maria Clutterbuck) – What Shall We Have for Dinner?
- Josiah Henson – The Life of Josiah Henson, Formerly a Slave, Now an Inhabitant of Canada, as Narrated by Himself
- Søren Kierkegaard
- Henry Mayhew – London Labour and the London Poor (collected in book form)
- Francisco de Paula Mellado – Enciclopedia moderna
- Ferencz Aurelius Pulszky – A magyar jakobinusok (The Jacobins in Hungary)
- John Ruskin – The Stones of Venice, vol 1
- February 21 – Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg, Austrian writer and traveler (died 1918)
- May 27 – Henry Festing Jones, English biographer, editor and lawyer (died 1928)
- June 11 – Mary Augusta Ward (Mrs. Humphry Ward), Tasmanian-born English novelist (died 1920)
- June 29 – Jane Dieulafoy, French archeologist, novelist and journalist (died 1916)
- August 23 – Alois Jirásek, Czech novelist and playwright (died 1930)
- September 14 – H. E. Beunke, Dutch writer (died 1925)
- September 16 – Emilia Pardo Bazán, Galician Spanish novelist (died 1921)
- December 10 – Melvil Dewey, born Melville Dewey, American librarian (died 1931)
- February 1 – Mary Shelley, English novelist and essayist (born 1797)
- February 23 – Joanna Baillie, Scottish poet and dramatist (born 1762)
- February 24 – Sake Dean Mahomed, author of first book in English by an Indian (born 1759)
- May 23 – Richard Lalor Sheil, Irish dramatist and journalist (born 1791)
- July 17 – Esther Copley, English children's writer and tractarian (born 1786)
- August 1 – Harriet Lee, English novelist (born 1757)
- August 10 – Heinrich Paulus, German theologian (born 1761)
- September 14 – James Fenimore Cooper, American historical novelist (born 1789)
- December 19 – Henry Luttrell, English politician, wit and society poet (born c. 1765)
- Unknown date – Vanchinbalyn Gularans, Mongolian poet (unknown year of birth)
- Published 1867. Allott, Kenneth, ed. (1965). The Poems of Matthew Arnold. London; New York: Longman Norton. p. 240. ISBN 0-393-04377-0.
- Maas, Norbert Maria Hubert (1996). "Altyt Waek Saem: De drukker-uitgever A.W. Sijthoff (1829-1913)". Nieuw Letterkundig Magazijn (in Dutch). pp. 35–41. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
- "Extranjeros perdidos en México: La aventura de Julio Verne de 1851" [Foreigners lost in Mexico: The 1951 adventure of Jules Verne]. Relatos e historias en Mexico (in Spanish). Retrieved June 1, 2019.
- Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- Bennett, Betty T. Introduction to Selected Letters, xxvii.
- Fisher, Michael H. "Mahomed, Deen (1759–1851)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, UK: OUP), 2004 Retrieved 13 May 2017.