1797 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1797.
- June 5 – Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, living at Nether Stowey in the Quantock Hills of Somerset, renews his friendship with William Wordsworth and Wordsworth's sister, Dorothy, who take a house nearby.
- July 15 – George Colman's comedy The Heir at Law opens in London. It introduces the character of Dr. Pangloss to the stage and the phrase "Queen Anne's dead" to the language.
- August – The British Home Office sends an agent to Nether Stowey to investigate Coleridge and Wordsworth who are suspected of being French spies.
- October – Coleridge composes the poem Kubla Khan in an opium-induced dream, writing down only a fragment of it on waking.
- November 1 – Jane Austen's father writes to London bookseller Thomas Cadell to ask if he is interested in seeing the manuscript of Jane's recently completed novel First Impressions (later re-titled Pride and Prejudice); Cadell declines.
- December 24 – Walter Scott marries Charlotte Carpenter at St Mary's Church, Carlisle, and the couple immediately move into their new home at 50 George Street, Edinburgh.
- Hatchards bookshop is founded in London's Piccadilly by John Hatchard; it continues to trade from the same site into the 21st century.
- "Mrs Carver" (perhaps Anthony Carlisle) – The Horrors of Oakendale Abbey
- Hannah Webster Foster (anonymously) – The Coquette, or the History of Eliza Wharton
- Friedrich Hölderlin – Hyperion, volume 1
- Frances Margaretta Jacson (anonymously) – Disobedience
- Jan Potocki – The Manuscript Found in Saragossa
- Ann Radcliffe – The Italian, or the Confessional of the Black Penitents
- Marquis de Sade – L'Histoire de Juliette
- Royall Tyler – The Algerine Captive
- Charlotte Palmer – A Newly-Invented Copybook
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Osorio
- George Colman – The Heir at Law
- Richard Cumberland
- Thomas John Dibdin – Sadak and Kalasrade
- Elizabeth Inchbald – Wives as They Were, and Maids as They Are
- Matthew Lewis – The Minister: A Tragedy, in five acts
- Thomas Bewick – History of British Birds vol. 1
- François-René de Chateaubriand – Essai sur les révolutions
- The Columbian Orator
- Johann Gottlieb Fichte – Foundations of Natural Right
- Lorenzo Mascheroni – Geometria del Compasso
- Thomas Paine – Agrarian Justice
- Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling – Die Weltseele (Soul of the World)
- March 13 – Charles de Rémusat, French politician and writer (died 1875)
- March 27 – Alfred de Vigny, French poet (died 1863)
- July 12 – Adele Schopenhauer, German novelist and paper-cut artist (died 1849)
- August 30 – Mary Shelley, English novelist (died 1851)
- September 16 – Anthony Panizzi, Italian-born English scholar and librarian (died 1879)
- September 28 – Sophie von Knorring (Sophie Margareta Zelow), Swedish novelist (died 1848)
- December 13 – Heinrich Heine, German poet (died 1856)
- Unknown date – Charlotte Barton, Australian children's author (died 1867)
- Approximate date – Thomas Cautley Newby, English publisher (died 1882)
- March 2 – Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford – English man of letters (born 1717)
- April 7 – William Mason, English poet and editor (born 1724)
- May 27 – François-Noël Babeuf, French journalist and political agitator (executed, born 1760)
- July 9 – Edmund Burke, Irish-born philosopher (born 1729)
- September 10 – Mary Wollstonecraft, English philosopher (born 1759)
- October 4 – Johann Christian Georg Bodenschatz, German Protestant theologian (born 1717)
- December – Mathurin-Léonard Duphot, French poet (shot dead, born 1769)
- Unknown date – Yuan Mei (袁枚), Chinese poet, diarist and gastronome (born 1716)