|Covid-19|January 28 – The second night of Henrik Wergeland's satirical musical play Campbellerne ("The Campbells") in Christiania (Norway) provokes a riot.
March – The Monthly Chronicle, "a national journal of politics, literature, science, and art", begins publication by Longman in London.
June 7 - Poet and novelist Letitia Elizabeth Landon married George Maclean, travelling with him in early August to Cape Coast Castle, Gold Coast, where she died on the 15th October of a spasm arising from a heart defect.
October 19 – Poet Alfred de Musset is appointed librarian of the Ministry of the Interior in France.
November 3 – The Times of India is founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce by Raobahadur Narayan Dinanath Velkar in Bombay.
November 8 – French novelist George Sand begins an uncomfortable winter living with her lover, the ailing Polish-born composer and pianist Frédéric Chopin, on the Mediterranean island of Majorca in the abandoned Carthusian monastery of Valldemossa.
Anna Maria Bunn's Gothic fiction The Guardian: a tale ("by an Australian") is published in Sydney. It is the first Australian novel printed and published in mainland Australia (although set in the author's native Ireland) and the first by a woman.
George Palmer Putnam and John Wiley form the book publishing and retail firm of Wiley & Putnam in New York City. It is the forerunner of G. P. Putnam's Sons.
Lady Charlotte Guest begins publication of her translation into English of the Welsh traditional tales known as the Mabinogion.
Hendrik Conscience – De Leeuw van Vlaanderen (The Lion of Flanders)
Nicholas Nickleby (serialization begins)
Oliver Twist (in book form)
Théophile Gautier – "One of Cleopatra's Nights" (short story)
William Nugent Glascock – Land Sharks and Sea Gulls
Edward Howard (as "edited by the author of Peter Simple") – Rattling the Reefer
Karl Leberecht Immermann – Münchhausen
John Pendleton Kennedy – Rob of the Bowl
Edgar Allan Poe
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
"Ligeia" (short story)
Ann Sophia Stephens – Mary Derwent
Robert Smith Surtees – Jorrocks' Jaunts and Jollities
Hans Christian Andersen – Fairy Tales Told for Children. New Collection. First Booklet (Eventyr, fortalte for Børn. Ny Samling. Første Hefte) comprising "The Daisy", "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" (Den standhaftige tinsoldat) and "The Wild Swans" (De vilde svaner)
Dion Boucicault – A Legend of the Devil's Dyke
Edward Bulwer – The Lady of Lyons
Charles Dickens – The Lamplighter: a farce in one act (rejected for performance)
Franz Grillparzer – Weh dem, der lügt!
Victor Hugo – Ruy Blas
Martins Pena – O Juiz de Paz na Roça ("The Roça Justice of the Peace")
Elizabeth Barrett Browning – The Seraphim and Other Poems
Giacomo Casanova – Memoirs (final volume)
Ralph Waldo Emerson – The Divinity School Address
Gideon Mantell – The Wonders of Geology, or, A Familiar Exposition of Geological Phenomena...
Harriet Martineau – How to Observe Morals and Manners
Samuel Smiles – Physical Education
Baron Jules Dupotet de Sennevoy – Introduction to the Study of Animal Magnetism
February 6 – Henry Irving, English actor and theatre manager (died 1905)
March 6 – Mary Dickens, English memoirist, editor and novelist (died 1896)
June 26 – Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Bengali writer (died 1894)
July 20 – Augustin Daly, American dramatist and theatre manager (died 1899)
October 25 – Annie Hall Cudlip, English novelist, journalist and editor (died 1918)
November 7 – Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, French Symbolist writer (died 1889)
March 28 – Thomas Morton, English playwright (born 1764)
April 12 – Johann Adam Möhler, German theologian (born 1796)
July 12 – John Jamieson, Scottish lexicographer (born 1759)
August 24 – Ferenc Kölcsey, Hungarian poet and critic (born 1790)
October 15 - Letitia Elizabeth Landon, English poet and novelist (born 1802)
November 10 (October 29 O.S.) – Ivan Kotliarevsky, Ukrainian writer (born 1769)
December 17 – Józef Zawadzki, Polish publisher (born 1781)
December 20 – Hégésippe Moreau, French poet (born 1810)
December 26 – Ann Hatton, English novelist (born 1764)
Unknown date – Amhlaoibh Ó Súilleabháin, Irish writer in Gaelic (born 1780)
Amitav Ghosh's novel River of Smoke (2011) is set during this year.
Diane Glancy's novel Pushing the Bear (1996) opens on the Trail of Tears during this year.
Jason Goodwin's detective novel The Snake Stone (2007) is set in Constantinople during this year.
1838 in literature Wikipedia
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1838.