1803 in literature
This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1803.
- June 30 – Novelist Mary Butt marries her cousin, Captain Henry Sherwood, acquiring the surname by which she will become best known.
- September 9 – Bamberg State Library is established in Upper Franconia.
- unknown date – The library which becomes the National Széchényi Library, established in 1802 by Count Ferenc Széchényi, opens to the public in Pest, Hungary.
- Charles Brockden Brown – Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist
- Sophie Ristaud Cottin – Amélie de Mansfield
- Catherine Cuthbertson – The Romance of the Pyrenees
- Elizabeth Gunning – The War-Office
- Francis Lathom – The Mysterious Freebooter
- Mary Meeke – A Tale of Mystery, or Celina
- Jean Paul - Titan
- Jane Porter – Thaddeus of Warsaw
- Germaine de Staël – Margaret of Strafford
- George Colman – John Bull, or an Englishman's Fireside
- William Dunlap – Voice of Nature (adapted from the French)
- Collin d'Harleville – Malice pour malice
- Thomas Holcroft – Hear Both Sides
- Heinrich von Kleist – Die Familie Schroffenstein
- August von Kotzebue – Die deutschen Kleinstädter (comedy, German Small-towners)
- Friedrich Schiller – The Bride of Messina (Die Braut von Messina), premiere in Weimar on March 19
- Isaac Reed (ed.) – The Plays of William Shakspeare (first variorum edition)
- Henry Kirke White – Clifton Grove, a Sketch in Verse, with other Poems
- Adam Oehlenschlager – Digte (Poems)
- Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière – Almanach des gourmands (1st edition)
- Immanuel Kant – Über Pädagogik (On Pedagogy)
- Adamantios Korais – Present Conditions of Civilisation in Greece
- Joseph Lancaster – Improvements in Education as It Respects the Industrious Classes
- Thomas Malthus – An Essay on the Principle of Population (2nd edition)
- Humphry Repton – Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening
- January 3 – Douglas William Jerrold, English dramatist (died 1857)
- January 15 – Marjorie Fleming, Scottish child writer (died 1811)
- May 16 – Amelie von Strussenfelt, Swedish novelist (died 1847)
- May 25
- July 20 – Dudley Costello, Irish writer and journalist (died 1865)
- September 20 – Catherine Crowe, English novelist, playwright and children's writer (died 1876)
- September 28 – Prosper Mérimée, French dramatist and historian (died 1870)
- October 25 – Maria Doolaeghe, Flemish novellist (died 1884)
- November 14 – Jacob Abbott, American children's writer (died 1879)
- December 6 – Susanna Moodie, English-born Canadian writer (died 1885)
- December 31 – José María Heredia y Heredia, Cuban poet (died 1839)
- January 1 – James Woodforde, English diarist (born 1740)
- February 11 – Jean-François de La Harpe, French dramatist and critic (born 1739)
- March 14 – Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock, German poet (born 1724)
- April 9 – Mihály Bakos (Miháo Bakoš), Slovene hymnist and Lutheran minister (born c. 1742)
- June 12 – Richard François Philippe Brunck, French classical scholar (born 1729)
- August 2 – John Hoole, English translator (born 1727)
- September 5 – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, French novelist (born 1841)
- October 8 – Vittorio Alfieri, Italian dramatist and poet (born 1749)
- December 18 – Johann Gottfried Herder, German philosopher, poet and critic (born 1744)
- Aleyn Lyell Reade (1923). Johnsonian Gleanings. Francis. p. 132.
- Wayne A. Wiegand; Donald G. Davis (1994). Encyclopedia of Library History. Taylor & Francis. p. 458. ISBN 978-0-8240-5787-9.
- Leavis, Q. D. (1965). Fiction and the Reading Public (rev. ed.). London: Chatto & Windus.
- Sutherland, Kathryn (2004). "Fleming, Marjory (1803–1811), child diarist". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/9707. Retrieved 26 March 2019. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Van Gemert, Lia (2011). Women's Writing from the Low Countries 1200-1875: A Bilingual Anthology. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. p. 500. ISBN 978-9-08964-129-8.
- Griffith Milwyn Griffiths. "Bevan, Evan (1803-1866), poet". Dictionary of Welsh Biography. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 8 September 2020.
- "James Woodforde". The Parson Woodforde Society. Retrieved 2013-04-11.
- Frank Northen Magill (1958). Masterplots: Cyclopedia of world authors; 753 novelists, poets, playwrights from the world's fine literature. Salem Press. p. 613.
- Margaretta Jolly (4 December 2013). Encyclopedia of Life Writing: Autobiographical and Biographical Forms. Routledge. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-136-78744-7.