1540 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1540.
- December 13 – John Standish's religious work A lytle treatyse is printed by Elisabeth Pickering, the first work known to be printed in London by a woman.
- The first known book from the first printing press in North America, set up in Mexico City, is published, Manual de Adultos.
- Sir David Lyndsay's Middle Scots satirical morality play A Satire of the Three Estates first performed, privately.
- Klemens Janicki is appointed poeta laureatus by Pope Paul III.
- Lazare de Baif travels with Pierre de Ronsard to Alsace where they meet many northern humanists.
- Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo – Amadis de Gaula Book 1 (translated into French by Nicolas de Herberay des Essarts at request of Francis I of France)
- Hector Boece – Historia Scotorum (translated into Middle Scots by John Bellenden at request of James V of Scotland)
- Rösslin – The Byrth of Mankynde (De partu hominis, translation attributed to Richard Jonas) 
- Georg Joachim Rheticus – De libris revolutionum Copernici narratio prima (abstract of Copernicus' De revolutionibus orbium coelestium)
- Tontada Siddhesavara – Shatsthala Jnanamrita
- Souterliedekens (Dutch metrical psalter dedicated to and perhaps compiled by Willem van Zuylen van Nijevelt)
- Approximate year
- January 26 – Florent Chrestien, French satirist and Latin poet (died 1596)
- June 11 – Barnabe Googe, English pastoral poet and translator (died 1594)
- Unknown dates
- May 22 – Francesco Guicciardini, Italian historian and statesman (born 1483)
- October 5 – Helius Eobanus Hessus, German Latin poet (born 1488)
- "The Press in Colonial America" (PDF). A Publisher’s History of American Magazines — Background and Beginnings. Retrieved 2013-08-22.
- Weinberg, Bernard, ed. (1974). "Pierre de Ronsard". French Poetry of the Renaissance (5th ed.). Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press. p. 70. ISBN 0-8093-0135-0.
- First printed book in English on obstetrics and first book published in England with engraved plates. Ballantyne, J. W. (October 1906). "The Byrth of Mankynde (Its Author and Editions)". The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynæcology of the British Empire. 10 (4): 297–325. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.1906.tb12722.x. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
- Sastri, K. A. Nilakanta (2002) . A history of South India from prehistoric times to the fall of Vijayanagar. New Delhi: Indian Branch, Oxford University Press. p. 362. ISBN 0-19-560686-8.
- Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6.
- "Poems on everyday things". Oxford: Bodleian Library. Archived from the original on 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
- Preminger, Alex; Brogan, T. V. F.; et al. (1993). The New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. New York: MJF Books/Fine Communications.