1741 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1741.
- January 29 – A memorial to William Shakespeare (d. 1616), designed by William Kent and sculpted by Peter Scheemakers, is erected in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.
- February 13 – Andrew Bradford launches the American colonies' first periodical in Philadelphia, the American Magazine.
- March 14 – K.K. Theater an der Burg (Imperial Court Theatre) in Vienna opened.
- October 19 – David Garrick makes his London stage debut, as Shakespeare's Richard III. His performance quickly packs theatres. His professional debut was earlier in the year at Ipswich in Southerne's adaptation of Oroonoko.
- Irish-born actor Charles Macklin makes his London stage debut in the part of Shakespeare's Shylock at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, reversing the tradition of portraying the character as a comic villain.
- First translation of a Shakespeare play into the German language, Julius Caesar turned into alexandrines by C. W. von Borck.
- Printer Robert Foulis sets up as a publisher in Edinburgh.
- The Life of Pamela (parody of Richardson's Pamela)
- Pamela Censured
- Charles Balguy (anonymous translator) – The Decameron
- Stephen Duck – Every Man in his Own Way
- Henry Fielding (as Mr. Conny Keyber) – An Apology for the Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews
- Eliza Haywood – The Anti-Pamela; or Feign’d Innocence Detected
- Ludvig Holberg – Niels Klim's Underground Travels
- John Kelly – Pamela's Conduct in High Life (continuation of Pamela)
- Alexander Pope with John Gay and John Arbuthnot – Memoirs of the Extraordinary Life, Works, and Discoveries of Martinus Scriblerus
- Charles Povey – The Virgin in Eden (prose fiction)
- Samuel Richardson
- Letters Written to and for Particular Friends (also known as Familiar Letters)
- Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded vols. iii – iv
- Hristofor Zhefarovich – Stemmatographia
- Anonymous – Pamela; or, Virtue Triumphant
- Robert Dodsley – The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (adapted from anonymous Elizabethan play)
- David Garrick – The Lying Valet
- William Hatchett – The Chinese Orphan: An Historical Tragedy (adapted from the 13th-century Chinese play The Orphan of Zhao; unperformed)
- John Kelly – The Levee
- Voltaire – Mahomet (first performed)
- Geoffrey Chaucer – The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer (new edition revives interest)
- William Shenstone – The Judgment of Hercules
- Edward Young – Poetical Works of the Reverend Edward Young
- Alonso Verdugo, third Earl of Torrepalma – Adonis
- John and Charles Wesley – A Collection of Psalms and Hymns
- Thomas Betterton – The History of the English Stage, from the Restoration to the Present
- Thomas Francklin – Of the Nature of the Gods
- David Hume – Essays Moral and Political
- Real Academia Española – Ortografía
- Martín Sarmiento – Memorias para la historia de la poesía y poetas españoles
- Emanuel Swedenborg – A Hieroglyphic Key to Natural and Spiritual Arcana by Way of Representation and Correspondences (written, published in 1784).
- Jonathan Swift
- Dean Swift's Literary Correspondence (pirate edition by Edmund Curll, for which sued by Pope)
- Some Free Thoughts on the Present State of Affairs
- Isaac Watts – The Improvement of the Mind
- Leonard Welsted – The Summum Bonum
- George Whitefield – A Letter to the Reverend John Wesley
- January 16 – Hester Thrale (Mrs Piozzi), English diarist and arts patron (died 1821)
- August 25 – Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, German theologian and adventurer (died 1792)
- October 4 – Edmond Malone, Irish Shakespearean editor (died 1812)
- October 18 – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, French novelist (died 1803)
- October 28 – Johann August von Starck, German theologian and political writer (died 1816)
- January 9 – William Gwavas, English lawyer and writer in the Cornish language (born 1676)
- February 21 – Jethro Tull, English agricultural innovator and writer (born 1674)
- March 17 – Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, French dramatist and poet (born 1671)
- April 10 – Celia Fiennes, English travel writer (born 1662)
- July 30 – Thomas Emlyn, English Unitarian writer (born 1663)
- December 14 – Charles Rollin, French historian (born 1661)
- December 21 – Bernard de Montfaucon, French scholar and palaeographer (born 1655)
- Unknown date – Anne Dick, Scottish comic poet and lampoonist (year of birth unknown)
- "History". Westminster Abbey. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
- "First Magazine Published in America". West Hempstead Public Library. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Horace Walpole remarked, "there was a dozen dukes a night at Goodman's Fields." Freedley, George; Reeves, John A. (1968). A History of the Theatre. New York, Crown. p. 290.
- Simpson, Louis (1993-04-04). "There, They Could Say, Is the Jew". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-04.
- The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. 2015. ISBN 978-0-19-870873-5.