This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1787.
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- January 15 – Ann Ward marries William Radcliffe, gaining the surname by which she will be known as a writer of Gothic novels.
- April 16 – Royall Tyler's The Contrast becomes the first comedy written by an American citizen to be professionally produced, at the John Street Theatre (Manhattan).
- April 17 – The Edinburgh edition of Robert Burns' Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect is published by William Creech. It includes a Burns portrait by Alexander Nasmyth. The poet has great social success in the city's literary circles; 16-year-old Walter Scott meets him at the house of Adam Ferguson.
- June 1 – King George III of Great Britain issues a Proclamation for the Discouragement of Vice, which can be used to prosecute obscene publications.
- June 27 – Just before midnight, Edward Gibbon completes The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in the small summerhouse in his garden in Lausanne, Switzerland.
- July – Friedrich Schiller arrives in Weimar.
- November 21 – François-Joseph Talma makes his professional stage debut at the Comédie-Française as Seide, in Voltaire's Mahomet.
- December 4 – Robert Burns meets Agnes Maclehose at a party given by Miss Erskine Nimmo.
- Elizabeth Bonhôte – Olivia, or, The Deserted Bride
- Jean-Baptiste Louvet de Couvrai – Les Amours du chevalier de Faublas
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – The Sorrows of Young Werther (revised edition)
- Johann Jakob Wilhelm Heinse – Ardinghello and die glückseligen Inseln
- Elizabeth Helme – Louisa; or the Cottage on the Moor
- Johann Karl August Musäus – Volksmärchen der Deutschen (fifth volume)
- Elizabeth Sophia Tomlins – The Victim of Fancy
- Betje Wolff and Aagje Deken – Abraham Blankaart
- François Guillaume Ducray-Duminil – Fanfan et Lolotte, ou Histoire de deux enfants abandonnés dans une île déserte (Fanfan and Lolotte, Story of Two Children Abandoned on a Desert Island)
- Pierre Beaumarchais – Tarare (opera)
- George Colman the Younger – Inkle and Yarico (comic opera)
- Richard Cumberland – The Country Attorney
- Germaine de Staël – Jeanne Grey
- Thomas Holcroft – Seduction
- Harriet Lee – The New Peerage
- Friedrich Schiller – Don Karlos, Infant von Spanien
- Royall Tyler – The Contrast
- Thomas Best – A Concise Treatise on the Art of Angling
- Mathurin Jacques Brisson – Pesanteur Spécifique des Corps
- Ottobah Cugoano – Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species
- (Sir) John Fenn (ed.) – The Paston Letters (Original letters, written during the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III)
- John Hawkins – Life of Samuel Johnson
- Scots Musical Museum, vol. 1
- Mary Wollstonecraft – Thoughts on the Education of Daughters
- February 2 – Charles Etienne Boniface, French music teacher, playwright and journalist (died 1853)
- February 17 – George Mogridge ("Old Humphrey"), English children's writer and poet (died 1854)
- February 23 – Emma Willard, American teacher and writer (died 1870)
- April 26 – Ludwig Uhland, German poet (died 1862)
- May 29 – Konstantin Batyushkov, Russian poet, essayist and translator (died 1855)
- July 9 – Taliesin Williams, Welsh poet and author (died 1847)
- September 13 – John Adamson, English antiquary and expert on Portuguese (died 1855)
- November 4 – Edmund Kean, English actor (died 1833)
- November 15 – Richard Henry Dana Sr., American poet, critic and lawyer (died 1879)
- November 21 – Bryan Procter (Barry Cornwall), English poet (died 1874)
- December 16 – Mary Russell Mitford, English novelist (died 1855)
- April 1 – Floyer Sydenham, English classical scholar and translator (born 1710)
- April 2 – Francisco Javier Clavijero, Mexican-born historian (born 1731)
- May 4 – Philip Skelton, Irish clergyman and writer (born 1707)
- June 19 – John Brown, Scottish theologian (born 1722)
- October 28 – Johann Karl August Musäus, German satirist and children's writer (born 1735)
- October 30 – Ferdinando Galiani, Italian economist (born 1728)
- November 3 – Robert Lowth, English poet, grammarian and bishop (born 1710)
- December 18 – Soame Jenyns, English poet and essayist (born 1704)
- "The Mysteries of Udolpho". eNotes.
- Anne Stott; Associate Lecturer Open University and Sessional Lecturer Anne Stott (2003). Hannah More: The First Victorian. Oxford University Press. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-19-924532-1.
- Nicholas Martin (1996). Nietzsche and Schiller: Untimely Aesthetics. Clarendon Press. p. 117. ISBN 978-0-19-815913-1.
- Hecht, Hans (1936). Robert Burns: The Man and His Work. London: William Hodge. p. 106.
- Appelbaum, Stanley (2004-06-04), Introduction to The Sorrows of Young Werther, pp. vii–viii, ISBN 978-0486433639
- Oxenford, John; Feiling, C. A. (1844). "Introduction". Tales from the German. p. viii.
- Watson, George. The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: Volume 2, 1660-1800. Cambridge University Press, 1971. Page 1968.
- "Mary Wollstonecraft | Biography, Works, & Facts". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. .
- Griffith John Williams (1959). "Williams, Taliesin (Taliesin ab Iolo; 1787-1847), poet and author". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 31 October 2021.
- Lee, Elizabeth (1894). Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. Vol. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 84. . In
- Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. .
- Franz J. L. Thimm; William Henry Farn (1844). The Literature of Germany, from Its Earliest Period to the Present Time, Historically Developed ... Edited by W. H. Farn. p. 59.
- The Royal Kalendar, Or, Complete and Correct Annual Register for England, Scotland, Ireland, and America, for the Year ... J. Debrett. 1817. p. 3.