1742 in literature

The year 1742 in literature involved some significant events and new books.

Events

* February 12 - Robert Walpole, the most divisive "prime minister" for a century or more to come, resigned but was elevated to the peerage and moved into the English House of Lords
* April 8 - Handel's "Messiah" was performed for the first time in Dublin, Ireland.
* December 2 - "The Pennsylvania Journal" first appears in print in the United States.
* Pierre de Marivaux is elected to the Académie française.

New books

* Colley Cibber - "A Letter from Mr. Cibber to Mr. Pope" (in re Pope's satirizing of Cibber)
* William Collins - "Persian Eclogues"
* Thomas Cooke - "Original Poems"
* Philip Doddridge - "Evidences of Christianity"
* Henry Fielding - "Joseph Andrews"
* James Hammond - "Love Elegies"
* Eliza Haywood - "The Virtuous Villager" (prose fiction)
* David Hume - "Essays Moral and Political" vol. ii
* Colin Maclaurin - "Treatise on Fluxions"
* James Merrick - "The Destruction of Troy"
* John Oldmixon - "Memoirs of the Press, Historical and Political"
* William Shenstone - "The School-Mistress"
* William Somervile - "Field Sports"
* Horace Walpole and Sir Charles Hanbury Williams - "The Lessons for the Day" (satire on William Pulteney, Bolingbroke, and the "Patriot Whigs").
* William Warburton - "A Critical and Philosophical Commentary on Mr. Pope's Essay on Man"
* John Wesley - "The Character of a Methodist"
** - "The Principles of a Methodist"
* George Whitefield - "Nine Sermons"
* Charles Hanbury Williams - "The Country Girl: An ode"
* Edward Young - "Night Thoughts"

Newly published drama

* Charlotte Charke - "Tit for Tat"
* Charles Jennens - "Messiah" (libretto and music for Handel's piece)

Births

* January 1 - Isaac Reed, Shakespearean editor (died 1807)
* June 25 - Johann Schweighauser, German classical scholar (died 1830)
* september 14 - James Wilson, publisher (died 1798)
* October 6 - Johan Herman Wessel, Norwegian author (died 1785)
* Thomas Penrose
* Anna Seward

Deaths

* March 23 - Jean-Baptiste Dubos, French author (born 1670)
* July 9 - John Oldmixon, English historian (born 1673)
* July 14 - Richard Bentley, English scholar and critic (born 1662)
* July 19 - William Somervile, English poet (born 1675)
* November 24 - Andrew Bradford, American publisher (born 1686)
* Nicholas Amhurst


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