1895 in literature
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In poetry: 1892 1893 1894 -1895- 1896 1897 1898
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The year 1895 in literature involved some significant new books.
- January–May - Publication of H. G. Wells' first "scientific romance", the novella The Time Machine, serially in The New Review (London). The first book editions are published by Henry Holt and Company in New York on May 7 and by Heinemann in London on May 29.
- January 3 - Première of Oscar Wilde's comedy An Ideal Husband at the Haymarket Theatre in London.
- January 5
- January 12 - The National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty is registered in England and begins acquiring properties and making them accessible to the public. Carlyle's House in Chelsea is one of the first to be opened.
- February - The monthly The Bookman (New York) is first published by Dodd, Mead and Company under the editorship of Harry Thurston Peck and publishes the first bestseller list, which is headed by Frank R. Stockton's novel The Adventures of Captain Horn.
- February 14 - Première of Oscar Wilde's last play, the comedy The Importance of Being Earnest, at St. James' Theatre, London.
- George Bernard Shaw fail to dissuade Wilde from proceeding with the action.
- April 3–5 - Libel case of Wilde v Queensberry at the Old Bailey in London: Queensberry is acquitted. Evidence of Wilde's homosexual relationships with young men renders him liable to criminal prosecution under the Labouchere Amendment, while the Libel Act 1843 renders him legally liable for the considerable expenses Queensberry has incurred in his defence, leaving Wilde penniless.
- April 6 - Oscar Wilde is arrested at the Cadogan Hotel, London (in the company of Robbie Ross), for "unlawfully committing acts of gross indecency with certain male persons" and detained on remand in Holloway Prison.
- April 29 - Joseph Conrad's novel Almayer's Folly is published in London by T. Fisher Unwin, Conrad's first published work (following retirement from his career at sea) and the first appearance of his pseudonym.
- Criminal case of Regina v. Wilde: After a retrial at the Old Bailey, Oscar Wilde is convicted of gross indecency and is taken to Pentonville Prison to begin his two years' sentence of hard labour. On November 21 he is transferred to Reading Gaol.
- Henry Irving becomes the first actor invested with a knighthood.
- October - The American Historical Review is published for the first time.
- November 1 - Thomas Hardy's last completed novel, Jude the Obscure is published by Osgood, McIlvaine, and Co. in London (dated 1896) on completion of an expurgated serialization under the title Hearts Insurgent in Harper's Magazine. It receives strong criticism on moral grounds; Hardy later claims that Walsham How, Bishop of Wakefield, burned a copy.
- December 19 - Robert Frost marries Elinor Miriam White at Lawrence, Massachusetts.
- Trilby, serialized in 1894, is first published in book form. It is also adapted as a play, Trilby, first in the United States (opening on March 4 at the Boston Museum (theatre) with a New York première on April 15 at the Garden Theatre) with Wilton Lackaye as Svengali and Virginia Harned in the title rôle; then in England (opening on September 7 at the Theatre Royal, Manchester with a London première on October 30 at the Haymarket Theatre) with Herbert Beerbohm Tree and Dorothea Baird. The stage version is so successful that Tree is able to use the profits to build Her Majesty's Theatre; it also introduces the trilby hat.
- William Poel establishes the Elizabethan Stage Society to promote productions of plays by Shakespeare and his contemporaries in the performance style of the English Renaissance theatre.
- Abdallah bin Hemedi bin Ali Ajjemy's Habari za Wakilindi is the first Swahili novel.
- Publication in Boston (U.S.) of Castello Holford's utopian novel Aristopia: A Romance-History of the New World, the first full-length alternate history in English.
- Ernest Thayer recites Casey at the Bat at a Harvard class reunion, resolving the "mystery" of the poem's authorship.
- Pan, a German arts and literary magazine, is first published.
- The first edition of the Times Atlas of the World is published at the office of The Times newspaper in London.
- Grant Allen
- John Kendrick Bangs - A House-Boat on the Styx
- Rhoda Broughton - Scylla or Charybdis?
- Mary Elizabeth Braddon - Sons of Fire
- Robert W. Chambers - The King in Yellow
- Joseph Conrad - Almayer's Folly
- Marie Corelli - The Sorrows of Satan
- Stephen Crane - The Red Badge of Courage
- Victoria Crosse - The Woman Who Didn't
- Ménie Muriel Dowie - Gallia
- J. Meade Falkner - The Lost Stradivarius
- G. E. Farrow - The Wallypug of Why
- Antonio Fogazzaro - The Little World of the Past
- Hamlin Garland - Rose of Dutcher's Coolly
- George Gissing
- Thomas Hardy - Jude the Obscure
- Castello Holford - Aristopia
- Joris-Karl Huysmans - En Route
- Henry James - Terminations (collection)
- Rudyard Kipling
- Ian Maclaren - The Days of Auld Lang Syne
- The Amazing Marriage
- Kálmán Mikszáth - St. Peter's Umbrella
- Arthur Morrison - Chronicles of Martin Hewitt
- Gustavus W. Pope - Journey to Venus
- Bolesław Prus - Pharaoh (Faraon; serialization begins)
- Emilio Salgari - I misteri della jungla nera
- Henryk Sienkiewicz - Quo Vadis
- Leo Tolstoy - "Master and Man" (short story)
- Jules Verne - Propeller Island
- H. G. Wells - The Time Machine
- Tristan Bernard - Les pieds nickelés
- Joaquín Dicenta - Juan José
- José Echegaray - El estigma
- Alfred Jarry - Caesar Antichrist
- Maurice Maeterlinck - Interior (first production)
- Jules Renard - La demande
- Tsubouchi Shōyō - Kiri Hitoha ("A Paulownia Leaf"; writing completed)
- Frank Wedekind - Earth Spirit
- Oscar Wilde - The Importance of Being Earnest
- Annetta Seabury Dresser - The Philosophy of P.P. Quimby
- Friedrich Nietzsche - Der Antichrist (written 1888)
- February 14 - Max Horkheimer, German philosopher (died 1973)
- February 28 - Marcel Pagnol, French novelist (died 1974)
- March 29 - Ernst Jünger, German novelist (died 1998)
- April 23 - Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand novelist (died 1982)
- May 9 - Lucian Blaga, Romanian poet and philosopher (died 1961)
- May 19 - Charles Sorley, British poet (killed in action 1915)
- June 16 - Warren Lewis, British historian, brother of C. S. Lewis and Inkling (died 1973)
- July 14 - F. R. Leavis, English literary critic (died 1978)
- July 24 - Robert Graves, English poet and novelist (died 1985)
- September 21 - Sergei Yesenin, Russian poet (died 1925)
- October 3 - Giovanni Comisso, Italian writer (died 1969)
- October 17 - C. H. B. Kitchin, British novelist (died 1967)
- October 31 - B. H. Liddell Hart, English military historian (died 1970)
- November 1 - David Jones, British poet and artist (died 1974)
- November 16 - Michael Arlen, Armenian novelist and short story writer (died 1956)
- December 1 - Henry Williamson, English novelist (died 1977)
- December 9 - Vivian de Sola Pinto, English poet, literary critic, and historian (died 1969)
- December 14 - Paul Éluard, French poet (died 1952)
- January 13 - John Robert Seeley, English historian and essayist (born 1834)
- January 15 - Lady Charlotte Guest, British translator of Welsh literature (born 1812)
- February 19 - Auguste Vacquerie, French journalist (born 1819)
- February 20 - Frederick Douglass, American abolitionist, orator and writer (born 1818)
- March 5 - Nikolai Leskov, Russian journalist, novelist and short story writer (born 1831)
- March 15 - Cesare Cantù, Italian historian (born 1804)
- March 22 - Henry Coppée, American historian and biographer (born 1821)
- April 3 - Gustav Freytag, German novelist and dramatist (born 1816)
- Colombian writer, politician and explorer (born 1837)
- April 26 - Eric Stenbock, Baltic German poet (born 1858)
- May 26 - Ahmet Cevdet Pasha, Ottoman historian and legal writer (born 1822)
- August 1 - Heinrich von Sybel, German historian (born 1817)
- August 5 - Friedrich Engels, German socialist writer (born 1820)
- November 4 - Eugene Field, American children's author (born 1850)
- November 27 - Alexandre Dumas, fils, French novelist and dramatist (born 1824)
- date unknown - William Grainge, historian of Yorkshire (born 1818)
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006.
- Holland, Merlin, ed. (2003). The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde. London: Harper Collins. p. 300.
- "Oscar Fingal O'Fflahartie Wills Wilde, Alfred Waterhouse Somerset Taylor, Sexual Offences ... 20th May 1895". The Proceedings of the Old Bailey. April 2013. Retrieved 2014-11-24.
- JSTOR: All issues of The American Historical Review.
- Slack, Robert C. Nineteenth-Century Fiction 11(4) (March 1957) pp. 261–275.
- Pettersson, Anders (ed.). Literary History: Towards a Global Perspective 1. p. 231.