This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1848.
- January 22 – The second edition of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre is dedicated to William Makepeace Thackeray. It is also first published this year in the United States.
- February 21 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto (Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei) in London.
- March 15 – Revolutions of 1848 in the Austrian Empire: Ferdinand I of Austria abolishes censorship.
- March 18 – The Boston Public Library is founded by an act of the Great and General Court of Massachusetts.
- April 1 – Charles Dickens's novel Dombey and Son concludes its serial publication.
- April 10 – John Ruskin marries Effie Gray.
- May 5 – Poet Alfred de Musset is dismissed as librarian of the Ministry of the Interior under the French Second Republic.
- c.June 27 – Anne Brontë's second and final novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is published (as by "Acton Bell") in London. It sells out in six weeks, requiring a reissue.
- July – Serial publication of William Makepeace Thackeray's novel Vanity Fair by Punch magazine concludes. It appears in book format (from the same typesetting) by Bradbury and Evans in London, with illustrations by the author.
- September 24 – Branwell Brontë dies, probably of tuberculosis, at Haworth Parsonage, aged 31.
- October 18 – Elizabeth Gaskell's first novel, Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life is published anonymously by Chapman & Hall in London in two volumes.
- c.October – The first frescoes of scenes from English literature in the Poets' Hall of the Palace of Westminster are completed: Charles West Cope's Griselda's first Trial of Patience (based on Chaucer's The Clerk's Tale) and John Callcott Horsley's Satan touched by Ithuriel's Spear while whispering evil dreams to Eve (based on Milton's Paradise Lost).
- December 19 – Emily Brontë dies of tuberculosis at Haworth Parsonage, aged 30. She is buried in her father's St Michael and All Angels' Church, Haworth.
- The first issue of the penny dreadful Gentleman Jack, or Life on the Road, probably by James Malcolm Rymer, is published in London by Edward Lloyd. Inspired by the life of highwayman Claude Duval (hanged 1670), but opening in 1780, the series will reach over 200 parts by 1852 and be popular on both sides of the Atlantic.
Children and young peopleEdit
- February 5 – Joris Karl Huysmans (Charles-Marie-Georges Huysmans), French novelist (died 1907)
- February 16 – Octave Mirbeau, French travel writer, novelist and playwright (died 1917)
- February 24 – Grant Allen, Canadian novelist and science writer (died 1899)
- March 9 – George Panu, Romanian memoirist, critic, and politician (died 1910)
- May – Bonifaciu Florescu, Wallachian and Romanian polygraph (died 1899)
- August 14 – Mary E. Mann (Mary Rackham), English novelist and short story writer (died 1929)
- August 16 – Francis Darwin, English botanist and academic (died 1925)
- October 25 – Karl Emil Franzos, Austrian novelist (died 1904)
- Unknown date – Maryana Marrash, Syrian writer and salonist (died 1919 in literature)
- Unknown date, probable year of birth – Bithia Mary Croker, Irish novelist (died 1920)
- January 19 – Isaac D'Israeli, English scholar and man of letters (born 1766)
- February 9 – Ann Batten Cristall, English poet (born 1769)
- February 13 – Sophie von Knorring, Swedish novelist (born 1797)
- July 4 – François-René de Chateaubriand, French historian, politician and diplomat (born 1768)
- July 6 – He Changling (賀長齡), Chinese scholar and writer on governance (born 1785)
- August 9 – Frederick Marryat (Captain Marryat), English novelist and children's writer (born 1792)
- September 24 – Branwell Brontë, English painter, writer and poet (tuberculosis, born 1817)
- December 19 – Emily Brontë, English novelist and poet (tuberculosis, born 1818)
- December 23 – James Cowles Prichard, English ethnologist and psychiatrist