1887 in literature
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The year 1887 in literature involved some significant new books.
- February - Oscar Wilde publishes "The Canterville Ghost", his first short story, in The Court and Society Review.
- March 30 - Théâtre Libre, established to promote naturalism in theatre by André Antoine, gives its first performances in Paris, originally as an amateur ensemble.
- November - Arthur Conan Doyle's first detective novel, A Study in Scarlet, is published in Beeton's Christmas Annual (London), introducing the consulting detective Sherlock Holmes and his friend and chronicler Dr. Watson.
- December 5 - Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (1886) comes into effect.
- Futabatei Shimei writes The Drifting Cloud, the first modern novel in Japan.
- George Hutchinson establishes Hutchinson (publisher) in London.
- John Lane and Elkin Mathews set up in partnership under the name The Bodley Head in London, originally as antiquarian booksellers.
- Herman Bang - Stuk
- Mary Elizabeth Braddon - Cut by the County
- Hall Caine - The Deemster
- Marie Corelli - Thelma
- F. Marion Crawford - Saracinesca
- Anna Bowman Dodd - The Republic of the Future
- Arthur Conan Doyle - A Study in Scarlet
- Édouard Dujardin - Les Lauriers sont coupés, an early example of the stream of consciousness narrative mode
- Benito Pérez Galdós - Fortunata y Jacinta (publication completed)
- Enrique Gaspar - El anacronópete, the first work of fiction to feature a time machine
- H. Rider Haggard - Allan Quatermain
- Thomas Hardy - The Woodlanders
- W. H. Hudson - A Crystal Age
- Joris-Karl Huysmans - En rade
- Paolo Mantegazza - Testa
- Appu Nedungadi - Kundalatha
- Bolesław Prus - The Doll (Lalka; serialization begins)
- José Rizal - Noli Me Tangere
- Futabatei Shimei - The Drifting Cloud
- August Strindberg - Hemsöborna
- Jules Verne
- O.F. Walton - A Peep Behind the Scenes
- Émile Zola - La Terre
- Anton Chekhov - Ivanov
- Arthur Wing Pinero - Dandy Dick
- Victorien Sardou - La Tosca
- August Strindberg - The Father
- Mikhail Bakunin - God and the State
- Hall Caine - Life of Samuel Coleridge Taylor
- Charles Darwin - The Autobiography of Charles Darwin (posthumously published)
- Julius Dresser - The True History of Mental Science
- Franz Hartmann - The Life of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim, better known by the name of Paracelsus, and the substance of his teachings
- Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers - The Kabbalah Unveiled
- Friedrich Nietzsche - On the Genealogy of Morality
- A. E. Waite - The Real History of the Rosicrucians
- L. L. Zamenhof - Unua Libro
- February 1 – Charles Nordhoff, English-born author (died 1947)
- February 3 – Georg Trakl, Austrian poet (died 1914)
- February 11 – John van Melle, South African writer (died 1953)
- February 18 – Nikos Kazantzakis, Greek poet (died 1957)
- March 3 – Rupert Brooke, English poet (blood poisoning, 1915)
- March 14 – Sylvia Beach (Nancy Woodbridge Beach), American publisher and memoirist (died 1962)
- May 15 – Edwin Muir, Scottish poet and translator (died 1959)
- June 2 – Orrick Glenday Johns, American poet and playwright (died 1946)
- September 1 – Blaise Cendrars (Frédéric-Louis Sauser), Swiss-born French writer (died 1961)
- February 10 – Mrs Henry Wood (Ellen Wood), English novelist (born 1814)
- April 23 – John Ceiriog Hughes, Welsh poet and folk song collector (born 1832)
- May 4 – William Murdoch, Scottish-born Canadian poet (born 1823)
- August 20 – Jules Laforgue, French poet (born 1860)
- August 25 – Emma Jane Guyton (Worboise), English novelist and magazine editor (born 1825)
- October 12 – Dinah Craik, English novelist and poet (born 1826)
- November 2 – Alfred Domett, English-born New Zealand poet and politician (born 1811)
- November 19 – Emma Lazarus, American poet (born 1849)
- December 5 – Eliza Roxcy Snow, American poet (born 1804)
- Unknown date – Frances Browne, Irish poet and novelist (born 1816)
- Westcott, Kathryn (2011-04-09). "HG Wells or Enrique Gaspar: Whose time machine was first?". BBC News. Retrieved 2011-04-09.