1890 in literature
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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1890.
- January – William Heinemann launches his Heinemann publishing business in London's Covent Garden with publication of Hall Caine's successful novel The Bondman.
- March 8 – Bram Stoker begins work on Dracula.
- c. June–September – Joseph Conrad, at this time serving as Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski with a Belgian steamer company, makes a journey on the Congo River which will inspire his novel Heart of Darkness (1899).
- July 13 – Ambrose Bierce's short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", one of his best known works, is first published, in The San Francisco Examiner.
- September – Arthur Morrison joins the staff of The Globe (London newspaper).
- October 19 – Death of Sir Richard Francis Burton in Trieste, following which his widow, Isabel, burns his journals, a revised translation of The Perfumed Garden and many more manuscripts and books, largely on account of their erotic nature.
- Leo Tolstoy's novella The Kreutzer Sonata, being suppressed in Russia, is published in Berlin in Russian, German, English and French, with other English versions issued in England and the United States. The United States Post Office Department prohibits mailing of newspapers containing serialized installments.
- Macmillan Publishers in the U.K. begin to supply on "net book" terms, i.e. no discount is available to consumers.
- Hall Caine’s four-act historical drama Mahomet, based on the life of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam (written for the actor-manager Henry Irving), is banned by the Lord Chamberlain after it causes unrest in Britain’s Muslim communities, threatens British rule in parts of India and strains Britain’s relations with the Ottoman Empire.
- Rolf Boldrewood – The Squatter's Dream
- Mary Elizabeth Braddon – One Life, One Love
- Rhoda Broughton – Alas!
- Hall Caine
- The Bondman
- The Prophet: a Parable (novella)
- Kate Chopin – At Fault
- Wilkie Collins (completed after his death by Walter Besant) – Blind Love
- Marie Corelli – Wormwood
- Louis Couperus – Footsteps of Fate (Noodlot – Fate – in the magazine De Gids, dated October)
- Florence Dixie – Gloriana, or the Revolution of 1900
- Ignatius L. Donnelly – Caesar's Column
- Arthur Conan Doyle
- Knut Hamsun – Hunger (Sult)
- E. W. Hornung – A Bride from the Bush
- William Dean Howells – A Hazard of New Fortunes
- Rudyard Kipling – The Light That Failed (in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine dated January 1891)
- Arthur Machen – The Great God Pan (in the magazine The Whirlwind)
- Karl May – Der Schatz im Silbersee (The Treasure of Silver Lake, begins publication)
- Mori Ōgai – "The Dancing Girl" (舞姫, Maihime, short story in Kokumin no Tomo)
- William Morris – News from Nowhere (serialized in Commonweal)
- Octave Mirbeau – Sébastien Roch
- Georges Ohnet - Serge Panine
- Bolesław Prus
- Molly Elliot Seawell – Little Jarvis
- Mary Taylor – Miss Miles, or, A Tale of Yorkshire Life Sixty Years Ago
- Jules Verne – César Cascabel
- Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray (in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine dated July)
Children and young people
- Clyde Fitch – Beau Brummell
- James Herne – Margaret Fleming
- Henrik Ibsen – Hedda Gabler
- Wilhelm Jacoby and Carl Laufs – Pension Schöller
- Maurice Maeterlinck – The Blind
- Arthur Wing Pinero – The Cabinet Minister
- Hall Caine – Good Old Times
- Edwin James Brady – The Way of Many Rivers
- Emily Dickinson (died 1886) – Poems
- W. B. Yeats – "Lake Isle of Innisfree" (in The National Observer (London) 13 December)
- Eliza Brightwen – Wild Nature Won by Kindness
- Sir James George Frazer – The Golden Bough
- Clarissa Caldwell Lathrop, A Secret Institution
- Alfred Thayer Mahan – The Influence of Sea Power upon History
- Ragnar Redbeard (perhaps Arthur Desmond) – Might Is Right, or The Survival of the Fittest
- James McNeill Whistler – The Gentle Art of Making Enemies
- January 9
- January 11 – Oswald de Andrade, Brazilian poet and polemicist (died 1954)
- February 10 – Boris Pasternak, Russian author (died 1960)
- March 11 – Vannevar Bush, American author (died 1974)
- May 15 – Katherine Anne Porter, American journalist and novelist (died 1980)
- May 18 – Zora Cross, Australian poet and novelist (died 1964)
- May 20 – Allan Nevins, American historian and journalist (died 1971)
- May 29 – Rhoda Power, English children's writer and broadcaster (died 1957)
- August 15 – Tsugi Takano (鷹野 つぎ), Japanese novelist (died 1943)
- August 20 – H. P. Lovecraft, American horror writer (died 1937)
- August 24 – Jean Rhys, Dominica, West Indies-born English novelist (died 1979)
- August 28 – Ivor Gurney, English war poet and composer (died 1937)
- August 31 (August 19 O.S.) – August Alle, Estonian writer (died 1952)
- September 6 – Brinsley MacNamara, born John Weldon, Irish novelist and playwright (died 1963)
- September 10 – Franz Werfel, Austrian author (died 1945)
- September 15 – Agatha Christie, English mystery writer (died 1976)
- September 24 – A. P. Herbert, English humorist and novelist (died 1971)
- October 1 – Blanche Oelrichs, American poet and playwright (died 1950)
- October 13 – Conrad Richter, American novelist (died 1968)
- November 25 – Isaac Rosenberg, English poet (killed in action 1918)
- December 2 – Károly Molter, Hungarian novelist, dramatist and academic (died 1981)
- January 2 – George Henry Boker, American poet and playwright (born 1823)
- June 11 – George Edward Brett, American publisher (born 1829)
- June 24 – Subba Row, Hindu Theosophist writer (cutaneous disease, born 1856)
- July 15 – Gottfried Keller, Swiss novelist (born 1819)
- August 9 – Eduard von Bauernfeld, Austrian dramatist (born 1802)
- September 18 – Dion Boucicault, Irish dramatist (born c. 1820)
- October 19 – Sir Richard Francis Burton, English explorer, translator and writer (born 1821)
- October 26 – Carlo Collodi, Italian children's writer (born 1826)
- November 1 – Júlio Ribeiro, Brazilian naturalist, novelist and grammarian (tuberculosis, born 1845)
- December 6 – Richard William Church, English biographer and cleric (born 1815)
- December 18 – Grigory Danilevsky, Russian historical novelist (born 1829)
- December 19 – Zénaïde Fleuriot, French novelist (born 1829)
- December 29 – Octave Feuillet, French novelist and dramatist (born 1821)
- Eliot, Simon; Rose, Jonathan (2009-04-06). A Companion to the History of the Book. Wiley. pp. 343–. ISBN 9781405192781. Retrieved 2013-01-01.
- Bram Stoker's notes for Dracula. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7864-3410-7.
- Loughlin-Chow, M. Clare (2004). "Morrison, Arthur George (1863–1945)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/38649. Retrieved 2014-06-03. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- "Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata". British Library. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
- Foulkes, Richard (2008). Henry Irving: A Re-Evaluation of the Pre-Eminent Victorian Actor-Manager. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Limited. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-138-66565-1.
- Hubert, Susan J. (2002). Questions of Power: The Politics of Women's Madness Narratives. University of Delaware Press. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-0-87413-743-9.