|Covid-19|March 7 – Thomas Hardy meets his first wife, Emma Gifford, in Cornwall.
March 28 – Serialisation of Kenward Philp's The Bowery Detective in The Fireside Companion (New York) begins, the first known story to include the word detective in the title.
April—September – Serialisation of Charles Dickens' last novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, left unfinished due to his death on June 9 at Gads Hill Place in Kent from a stroke aged 58.
August 24/25 – Libraries of the University of Strasbourg and the City of Strasbourg at Temple Neuf are destroyed by fire during the Siege of Strasbourg in the Franco-Prussian War resulting in the loss of 3,446 medieval manuscripts, including the original 12th-century Hortus deliciarum compiled by Herrad of Landsberg, and rare Renaissance books.
September 17 – First performance of Alexander Pushkin's play Boris Godunov (1825) at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, given by the artists of the Alexandrinsky Theatre.
c. September 20 – Friedrich Engels moves permanently to London from Manchester.
December 18 – The Russian literary weekly Niva («Ни́ва», "Cornfield") is first published by Adolf Marks in Saint Petersburg.
Karl May begins a second 4-year prison sentence for thefts and frauds, at Waldheim, Saxony.
The David Sassoon Library in Bombay is completed.
Thomas Bailey Aldrich – The Story of a Bad Boy
Thomas Archer – The Terrible Sights of London
Rhoda Broughton – Red as a Rose is She
Wilkie Collins – Man and Wife
José Maria de Eça de Queiroz and Ramalho Ortigão – O Mistério da Estrada de Sintra (The Mystery of the Sintra Road)
Charles Dickens – The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Benjamin Disraeli – Lothair
Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Eternal Husband (Вечный муж, Vechny muzh)
Edward Jenkins – Ginx's Baby: his birth and other misfortunes
Mór Jókai – Fekete gyémántok (The Dark Diamonds)
Aleksis Kivi – Seitsemän veljestä (Seven Brothers)
Jonas Lie – Den Fremsynte (The Visionary or Pictures From Nordland)
George Meredith – The Adventures of Harry Richmond (begins serial publication)
William Morris – The Earthly Paradise
Leopold von Sacher-Masoch – Venus in Furs (Venus im Pelz)
Bayard Taylor – Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania
Anthony Trollope – The Vicar of Bullhampton
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (Vingt mille lieues sous les mers)
Around the Moon (Autour de la Lune)
Charlotte M. Yonge – The Caged Lion
James Albery – Two Roses
Ludwig Anzengruber (as L. Gruber) – Der Pfarrer von Kirchfeld (The Priest of Kirchfeld)
Pietro Cossa – Nero
Maret ja Miina (or Kosjakased; The Betrothal Birches)
Saaremaa Onupoeg (The Cousin from Saaremaa)
George Sand and Sarah Bernhardt – L'Autre
Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy – Tsar Boris (Царь Борис; published)
Bret Harte – The Heathen Chinee
Edward Lear – Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany, and Alphabets (dated 1871), including "The Owl and the Pussycat"
Giovanni Marradi – Canzone moderne
Dante Gabriel Rossetti – Poems, including "Jenny" and a fragment of "The House of Life"
Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1st edition)
Richard William Church – Life of St. Anselm
Hargrave Jennings – The Rosicrucians, their Rites and Mysteries
William Robinson – The Wild Garden
January 3 – Henry Handel Richardson (Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson), Australian novelist (died 1946)
March 5 – Frank Norris, American novelist (died 1902)
April 7 – Gustav Landauer, German philosopher and revolutionary (murdered 1919)
June 25 – Erskine Childers, English novelist (executed 1922)
July 27 – Hilaire Belloc, French-born English writer, poet and satirist (died 1953)
October 22 (October 10 OS) – Ivan Bunin, Russian-born writer, recipient of Nobel Prize in Literature (died 1953)
October 29 – Gerald Duckworth, English publisher (died 1937)
December 17 – Ioan A. Bassarabescu, Romanian short story writer and politician (died 1952)
December 18 – Saki (Hector Hugh Munro), English short story writer and dramatist (killed in action 1916)
February 25 – Henrik Hertz, Danish poet (born 1797)
April 24 – Louisa Stuart Costello, Irish writer on history and travel (born 1799)
June 9 – Charles Dickens, English novelist (born 1812)
June 11 – William Gilmore Simms, American poet, novelist and historian (born 1806)
July 19 – Benjamin Thorpe, scholar of Old English (born c. 1782)
July 20 – Jules de Goncourt, French novelist and critic (syphilis, born 1830)
July 24 – Anders Abraham Grafström, Swedish poet and historian (born 1790)
September 12 – Fitz Hugh Ludlow, American author and explorer (born 1836)
November 4 – Comte de Lautreamont, French poet and writer (born 1846)
December 5 – Alexandre Dumas, père, French novelist (born 1802)
1870 in literature Wikipedia
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1871.