This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1874.
- January – Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd, the first novel he sets specifically in his Wessex, begins publication as an anonymous serial in The Cornhill Magazine, It appears on November 23 in two volumes from the same publisher, Smith, Elder & Co. of London.
- February – Anthony Trollope's satirical novel The Way We Live Now (set in 1872 and written in 1873) begins publication in monthly shilling parts in London, as one of the last significant Victorian novels published in this format. It is completed and published as a two-volume book in 1875.
- The German literary and political periodical Deutsche Rundschau is established by Julius Rodenberg in Berlin.
- Arthur William à Beckett joins the staff of Punch.
- Alexandre Dumas, fils, is elected to the Académie française.
- Johan Nicolai Madvig loses his sight, forcing him to give up most of his research and writing.
- Karl May completes a four-year prison sentence for thefts and frauds at Waldheim, Saxony and has his first story, "Die Rose von Ernstthal" ("The Story of Rose Ernstthal"), published in November.
- Arthur Rimbaud goes to London with Germain Nouveau.
Children and young peopleEdit
- January 16 – Robert W. Service, English-born Canadian poet (died 1958)
- January 25 – W. Somerset Maugham, British novelist (died 1965)
- February 1 – Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Austrian writer (died 1929)
- February 3 – Gertrude Stein, American-born writer and arts patron (died 1946)
- February 9 – Amy Lowell, American poet (died 1925)
- February 11 – Elsa Beskow (Elsa Maartman), Swedish children's book and fairy-tale writer (died 1953)
- February 27 – F. M. Cornford, English classicist and poet (died 1943)
- March 20 – Börries von Münchhausen, German poet (died 1945)
- March 26 – Robert Frost, American poet (died 1963)
- May 29 – G. K. Chesterton, English novelist, writer and poet (died 1936)
- June 20 – Trumbull Stickney, American poet (died 1904)
- July 29 – August Stramm, German Expressionist poet and playwright (killed in action 1915)
- August 8 – Tristan Klingsor (Arthur Justin Léon Leclère), French poet (died 1966)
- October 6 – Ursula Bethell, English-born New Zealand poet (died 1945)
- November 30:
- December 12 – Volter Kilpi, Finnish novelist (died 1939)
- December 13? – Radu D. Rosetti, Romanian poet and playwright (died 1964)
- January 24 – Adam Black, Scottish publisher (born 1784)
- January 26 – Giuseppe Rovani, Italian novelist (born 1818)
- February 8 – David Strauss, German theologian (born 1808)
- February 9 – Jules Michelet, French historian (born 1798)
- February 23 – Shirley Brooks, English journalist and novelist (born 1816)
- March 3 – Francis Mason, English-born American grammarian and translator (born 1799)
- March 4 – Ada Clare, American journalist (born 1834)
- March 24 – Joseph Tracy, American newspaper editor and historian (born 1793)
- June 19 – Jules Janin, French critic (born 1804)
- July 7 – John Heneage Jesse, English historian (born 1815)
- July 8 – Agnes Strickland, English popular historian and poet (born 1796)
- July 12 – Fritz Reuter, German novelist (born 1810)
- August 8 – Augustin Theiner, German theologian and historian (born 1804)
- September 20 – Victor Séjour, American-born Creole novelist and dramatist writing in French (born 1817)
- October 5 – Bryan Procter, English poet (born 1787)
- October 24 – Thomas Miller, English poet (born 1807)
- November 20 – Tom Hood, English humorist (born 1835)