1774 in literature
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1774.
- February 22 – The English legal case of Donaldson v Beckett is decided in the House of Lords, denying the continued existence of a perpetual common law copyright and holding that copyright is a creation of statute and can be limited in its duration. This permits authors to claim copyright in their own works.
- September 14 – A new Stadsschouwburg (municipal theatre) in Amsterdam is opened with the première of Lucretia Wilhelmina van Merken's tragedy Jacob Simonszoon de Ryk.
- September 29 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's semi-autobiographical epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers) (written January–March) is published anonymously in Leipzig, Germany; it is influential in the Sturm und Drang movement and Romanticism.
- Following destruction of the Schloss Weimar by fire, Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, forms a commission for its reconstruction directed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
- James Lackington begins in the London bookselling business.
- Johann Gottlob Theaenus Schneider becomes secretary to Richard François Philippe Brunck.
- Approximate date – National and University Library of Slovenia in Ljubljana established as the Lyceum Library from the remains of the dissolved Jesuit library and several monastery libraries.
- Jeremy Bentham – The White Bull
- Henry Brooke – Juliet Grenville
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – The Sorrows of Young Werther
- Charles Johnstone – The History of Arsaces
- The Newgate Calendar
- Christoph Martin Wieland – Die Abderiten, eine sehr wahrscheinliche Geschichte (The Abderites: A Very Probable Story)
- Johann Bernhard Basedow – Elementarwerk (first of four volumes)
- Miles Peter Andrews – The Election
- John Burgoyne – The Maid of the Oaks
- George Colman the Elder – The Man of Business
- Charles Dibdin – The Waterman
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – Clavigo
- Hugh Kelly – The Romance of an Hour
- Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos – El delincuente honrado
- James Beattie – The Minstrel, volume 2
- William Dunkin – Poetical Works
- Oliver Goldsmith – Retaliation
- Richard Graves – The Progress of Gallantry
- William Mason – An Heroic Postscript to the Public
- Hannah More – The Inflexible Captive
- Samuel Jackson Pratt (as Courtney Melmoth) – The Tears of A Genius, occasioned by the Death of Dr. Goldsmith
- Henry James Pye – Farringdon Hill
- Mary Scott – The Female Advocate
- William Whitehead – Plays and Poems, by William Whitehead, Esq. Poet Laureat
- Cándido María Trigueros – El poeta filósofo o Poesías filosóficas en verso pentámetro
- Giacomo Casanova – Istoria delle turbolenze della Polonia
- Mary Deverell – Sermons
- Martin Gerbert – De cantu et musica sacra
- Oliver Goldsmith
- The Grecian History
- An History of the Earth and Animated Nature
- Henry Home – Sketches of the History of Man
- John Hutchins (died 1773) – The History and Antiquities of Dorset
- Thomas Jefferson – A Summary View of the Rights of British America
- Samuel Johnson – The Patriot
- Antoine-Simon Le Page du Pratz – The History of Louisiana, or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina (English translation of Histoire de la Louisiane (1758) in 1 vol.)
- Joseph Priestley – Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air
- William Richardson – A Philosophical Analysis and Illustration of Some of Shakespeare's Remarkable Characters
- Pedro Rodríguez, Count of Campomanes – Discurso sobre el fomento de la industria popular
- Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield – Letters to his Son
- Sugita Genpaku – Kaitai Shinsho (解体新書, "New Text on Anatomy", Japanese translation of Ontleedkundige Tafelen)
- Horace Walpole – A Description of Strawberry-Hill
- Thomas Warton – The History of English Poetry
- John Wesley – Thoughts upon Slavery
- January 1 – Pietro Giordani, Italian translator, scholar and writer (died 1848)
- February 24 – Archibald Constable, Scottish publisher (died 1827)
- July 14 – Francis Lathom, Dutch-born English Gothic novelist and dramatist (died 1832)
- August 12 – Robert Southey, English poet and Poet Laureate (died 1843)
- 2 Brown's Parl. Cases 129, 1 Eng. Rep. 837; 4 Burr. 2408, 98 Eng. Rep. 257; 17 Cobbett's Parl. Hist. 953 (1813).
- te Winkel, Jan (1924). De ontwikkelingsgang der Nederlandsche letterkunde V, Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche letterkunde van de Republiek der Vereenigde Nederlanden (in Dutch). 3 (2 ed.). Haarlem: Héritiers F. Bohn. p. 401.
- "Das Stadtschloss Weimar/The Palace at Weimar" (PDF). Klassik Stiftung Weimar. 2010. Retrieved 2014-06-09.
- BBC Two: Writing Scotland