1640 in literature

The year 1640 in literature involved some significant events.

Events

*January 21 - "Salmacida Spolia", a masque written by Sir William Davenant and designed by Inigo Jones, is performed at Whitehall Palace — the final royal masque of the Caroline era.
*March 17 (St. Patrick's Day) - Henry Burnell's play "Landgartha" premieres at the Werburgh Street Theatre in Dublin. It is one of the earliest dramatic works from a native Irish playwright.
*April 16 (approx.) - James Shirley returns to England from Ireland.
*May 4 - Theatre manager William Beeston is sent to the Marshalsea Prison for staging a play (perhaps Richard Brome's "The Court Beggar", or his "The Queen and Concubine") that offended the Stuart regime. This constituted the sole repression of the theatre to occur during the reign of King Charles I.
*May 28 - Pedro Calderón de la Barca joins the Catalonian campaign led by the Duke of Olivares.

New books

*"The Bay Psalm Book", the first book printed in North America
*Diego de Saavedra Fajardo - "Idea de un principe plotico cristiano" (literally, "The Idea of a Christian Political Prince;" in English, "The Royal Politician")
*Thomas Fuller - "Joseph's partly-coloured Coat"
*James Howell - "Dodona's Grove"
*Cornelius Jansen - "Augustinus"
*John Wilkins - "A Discourse Concerning a New Planet"

New drama

*Henry Burnell - "Landgartha"
*William Davenant – "Salmacida Spolia"
* John Fletcher & James Shirley - "The Night Walker" (published)
*Henry Glapthorne - "The Hollander", "Wit in a Constable", and "The Ladies' Privilege" (published)
*John Gough - "The Strange Discovery"
*William Habington - "The Queen of Arragon"
*Samuel Harding - "Sicily and Naples"
*Jean Mairet - "L’Illustre corsaire"
*Nathaniel Richards - "Messalina" (published)
*Joseph Rutter - "The Cid, Part 2" (published)
*George Sandys - "Christ's Passion" (English translation of Hugo Grotius's "Christus Patiens")
*Lewis Sharpe - "The Noble Stranger" published
*James Shirley - "The Imposture" performed; a single-volume collection of eight plays published; "The Arcadia", "The Humorous Courtier", and "Saint Patrick for Ireland" published; "The Coronation" published but misattributed to John Fletcher

Poetry

*Thomas Carew - "Poems"
*Robert Sempill the younger - "The Life and Death of Habbie Simpson, Piper of Kilbarchan"
*John Tatham - "Fancy's Theatre"

Births

*April 2 - Marianna Alcoforado, author of "Letters of a Portuguese Nun" (died 1723)
*July 10 - Aphra Behn, dramatist (died 1689)
*August 8 - Amalia Catharina, German poet (died 1697)
*September 6 - Heinrich Brewer, German historian (died c. 1713)
*December 6 - Claude Fleury, historian (died 1723)
*"date unknown"
**David-Augustin de Brueys, French theologian and dramatist (died 1723)
**Madame de Villedieu, French dramatist and novelist (died 1683)
*"probable" - William Wycherley, dramatist (died 1716)

Deaths

*January 25 - Robert Burton, scholar (born 1577)
*March 17 - Philip Massinger, dramatist (born 1583)
*March 22 - Thomas Carew, poet (born 1595)
*April - Uriel da Costa, Portuguese philosopher (born c. 1585)
*May 30 - André Duchesne, French historian (born 1584)
*October 1 - Claudio Achillini, Italian philosopher and poet (born 1574)
*"date unknown"
**William Alabaster, poet (born 1567)
**William Aspley, London publisher
**Paul Fleming, poet (born 1609)
**Elizabeth Melville, Scottish poet
**Sir John Melton, politician and writer
**Daniel Naborowski, Polish poet (born 1573)
**Richard Rowlands, antiquary (born c. 1550)
*"probable"
**Charles Aleyn, poet
**John Day, dramatist (born 1574)
**John Ford, dramatist (born 1584)


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