1858 in literature
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1855 1856 1857 -1858- 1859 1860 1861
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In poetry: 1855 1856 1857 -1858- 1859 1860 1861
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The year 1858 in literature involved some significant new books.
- January 3 - English writer and critic John Ruskin meets 10-year-old Rose La Touche, who becomes his muse, for the first time, at her family's London home.
- April 29 - Charles Dickens embarks on his first professional tour giving readings from his works; this will comprise 129 appearances in 49 different towns throughout England, Scotland and Ireland.
- May 15 - The third Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London, designed by Edward Middleton Barry, opens, rebuilt after its second destruction by fire (in 1856).
- June 18 - Henrik Ibsen marries Suzannah Thoresen, in the same year that he becomes creative director of Oslo's National Theater.
- September - Charles Baudelaire's study on Théophile Gautier is published in Revue contemporaine.
- October 15 - The farce Our American Cousin by English playwright Tom Taylor premières at Laura Keene's Theatre in New York City with American actor Joe Jefferson in the title rôle and English actor Edward Askew Sothern as Lord Dundreary.
- Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson - Arne
- George Eliot - Scenes of Clerical Life (January; first published in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine the previous year as three short stories)
- Frederic Farrar - Eric, or, Little by Little
- Ernest-Aimé Feydeau - Fanny
- Catherine Gore - Heckington
- George MacDonald - Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women
- Abraham Mapu - Ayit Tzavua ("Hypocrite Eagle")
- Aleksey Pisemsky - Boyarschina
- Catharine Maria Sedgwick - Memoir of Joseph Curtis
- Anthony Trollope - Doctor Thorne
- Thomas Holley Chivers - The Sons of Usna: a Tragic Apotheosis in Five Acts (published)
- Tom Taylor - Our American Cousin
- Matthew Arnold - Merope
- Alphonse Daudet - Les Amoureuses
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - The Courtship of Miles Standish
- William Morris - The Defence of Guinevere, and other Poems
- Gray's Anatomy, 1st edition
- William Carew Hazlitt - The History of the Origin and Rise of the Republic of Venice
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. - The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
- William H. Prescott - History of Philip II, volume 3
- Alfred Russel Wallace - On the Tendency of Varieties to Depart Indefinitely From the Original Type
- January 22 – Beatrice Webb (Beatrice Potter), English political writer (died 1943)
- March 12 – Adolph Ochs, American newspaper publisher (died 1935)
- April 15 – Émile Durkheim, French sociologist (died 1917)
- June 20 – Charles W. Chesnutt, American writer (died 1932)
- June 25 – Georges Courteline, French dramatist and novelist (died 1929)
- July 24 – Wolfgang Kapp, Prussian journalist (died 1922)
- August 2 – William Watson, English poet (died 1935)
- August 3 – Paul Sabatier, French religious writer (died 1928)
- November 20 – Selma Lagerlöf, Swedish writer (died 1940)
- December 26 – Owen Morgan Edwards, Welsh historian and educator (died 1920)
- February 13 – Hermann Heinrich Gossen, German economist (born 1810)
- February 26 – Thomas Tooke, English economist (born 1774)
- April 22 – Robert Stephen Rintoul, Scottish journalist (born 1787)
- May 3 – Auguste Brizeux, French poet (born 1803)
- May 12 – Georg Benedikt Winer, German theologian (born 1789)
- May 17 – Frank Forester, English novelist and sports writer (born 1807)
- June 3 – Edward Moxon, English poet and publisher (born 1801)
- June 28 – Jane Marcet, English writer of introductory science books (born 1769)
- November 3 – Harriet Taylor Mill, English philosopher (tuberculosis, born 1807)
- November 15 – Johanna Kinkel, German writer and composer (born 1810)
- December 18 – Thomas Holley Chivers, American poet and physician (born 1809)
- Hewison, Robert (2004). "Ruskin, John (1819–1900)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/24291. Retrieved 2014-03-19. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Hobsbaum, Philip (1998) . A Reader's Guide to Charles Dickens. Syracuse University Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-8156-0475-4. Retrieved 2012-04-20.