1738 in literature
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This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1738.
- April 11 – Robert Blair marries Isabella Law.
- July 10 – Richard Dawes is appointed Master of the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle.
- August – Laurence Sterne is ordained a priest, and in the autumn becomes vicar of Sutton-on-the-Forest, Yorkshire.
- August 8 – Jonathan Swift writes to Alexander Pope describing the deterioration in his mental condition; Swift will eventually be given into the care of a legal guardian.
- James Anderson – The Constitutions of the Free-Masons, 2nd ed.
- Jean-Baptiste de Boyer, Marquis d'Argens – Jewish Letters (published anonymously)
- John Banks – Miscellaneous Works in Verse and Prose
- Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten – De ordine in audiendis philosophicis per triennium academicum quaedam praefatus acroases proximae aestati destinatas indicit Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten
- Louis de Beaufort – Dissertation sur l'incertitude des cinq prèmiers siècles de l'histoire romaine
- Alexander Cruden – A Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament
- Robert Dodsley – The Art of Preaching
- Marie Huber – Lettres sur la religion essentielle à l'homme (Letters Concerning the Religion Essential to Man)
- David Hume (anonymously) – A Treatise of Human Nature (dated 1739)
- Pierre Louis Maupertuis – Sur la figure de la terre
- Margareta Momma – Samtal emellan Argi Skugga och en obekant Fruentimbers Skugga (Conversation between the Shadow of Argus and the Unfamiliar Shadow of a Female)
- Francis Moore – Travels into the Inland Parts of Africa
- Abbé Prévost – Memoirs of a Man of Quality (anonymous English translation)
- Thomas Shaw – Travels in Barbary and the Levant
- Jonathan Swift
- The Beasts Confession to the Priest
- A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation
- William Warburton
- The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated
- A Vindication of the author of the Divine Legation of Moses
- George Whitefield – A Journal of a Voyage from London to Savannah in Georgia
- Diego de Torres Villarroel
- Anatomía de todo lo visible e invisible
- Vida ejemplar de la venerable madre Gregoria Francisca de Santa Teresa
- Robert Dodsley – Sir John Cockle at Court
- Carlo Goldoni
- Momolo Cortesan
- L'uomo di mondo
- Sir Hildebrand Jacob
- The Happy Constancy
- The Prodigal Reformed
- The Trial of Conjugal Love
- George Lillo – Marina (adapted from Shakespeare's Pericles, Prince of Tyre)
- James Miller – Art and Nature
- Alexis Piron – La Metromanie
- António José da Silva – Precipicio de Faetonte
- James Thomson – Agamemnon
- Mark Akenside (anonymously) – A British Philippic
- Elizabeth Carter (anonymously) – Poems Upon Particular Occasions
- John Gay – Fables: Volume the Second
- Eugenio Gerardo Lobo – Obras poéticas líricas
- Samuel Johnson – London, A Poem, on the Third Satire of Juvenal
- Alexander Pope
- The Sixth Epistle of the First Book of Horace Imitated
- The First Epistle of the First Book of Horace Imitated
- (with Jonathan Swift) An Imitation of the Sixth Satire of the Second Book of Horace
- One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty Eight
- The Universal Prayer
- One Thousand Seven Hundred and Thirty Eight: Dialogue II
- James Thomson – The Works of Mr Thomson
- Diego de Torres Villarroel – Juguetes de Talia, entretenimiento del numen
- John Wesley – A Collection of Psalms and Hymns (first English edition)
- February 9 (baptized) – Mary Whateley, English poet and playwright (died 1825)
- May 9 – John Wolcot, English satirist and poet (died 1819)
- May 12 – Jonathan Boucher, English philologist (died 1804)
- May 27 – Moritz August von Thümmel, German humorist and satirical author (died 1817)
- June 21 – Gottlieb Christoph Harless, German bibliographer (died 1815)
- July 24 – Betje Wolff, Dutch novelist (died 1804)
- November 15 – Joseph Johnson, English publisher (died 1809)
- December 4 – Karl Friedrich Kretschmann, German poet, playwright and storyteller (died 1809)
- unknown date – Manuel Lassala, Spanish dramatist and philosopher (died 1806)
- January 6 – Jean-Baptiste Labat, French polymath (born 1663)
- March – Margrethe Lasson, Danish novelist (born 1659)
- April 25 – Giacomo Laderchi, Italian ecclesiastical historian (born c. 1678)
- June 5 – Isaac de Beausobre, French Protestant theologian (born 1659)
- July 8 – Jean-Pierre Nicéron, French lexicographer (born 1685)
- September 3 or 4 – George Lillo, English playwright (born 1691)
- September 23 – Herman Boerhaave, Dutch humanist writer (born 1668)
- November 10 – John Asgill, English pamphleteer (born 1659)
- Eneas Mackenzie (1827). A Descriptive and Historical Account of the Town and County of Newcastle Upon Tyne: Including the Borough of Gateshead. Mackenzie and Dent. p. 419.
- Jonathan Swift (1824). The Works of Jonathan Swift ... Archibald Constable and Company. p. 163.
- Michael Sims (3 October 2011). Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories. A&C Black. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-4088-2853-3.
- Bernhard Wilhelm Lundstedt (1902). Sveriges periodiska litteratur: Bibliografi, enligt publicistklubbens uppdrag utarbetad af Bernhard Lundstedt ... (in Swedish). Iduns tryckeri. p. 626.
- Deutsche Dichter und Prosaisten (in German). 1858. p. 197.
- The British Cyclopaedia of the Arts, Sciences, History, Geography, Literature, Natural History, and Biography ... Wm. S. Orr and Company. 1838. p. 117.
- George Lillo (1823). George Barnwell, a Tragedy. With Prefatory Remarks... Oxberry. p. 13.