1696 in literature
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This article contains information about the literary events and publications of 1696.
- January – Colley Cibber's play Love's Last Shift is first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London.
- March 5 – William Penn marries his second wife, Hannah Callowhill.
- September – The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, stages The Female Wits, an anti-feminist satire targeting Mary Pix, Delarivier Manley and Catherine Trotter, the three significant women dramatists of the era. The play is a hit, and runs for three nights straight (unusual in the repertory system of the day).
- November 21 – John Vanbrugh's first play, the comedy The Relapse, or Virtue in Danger, a sequel to Love's Last Shift, is first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with Cibber in the cast.
- unknown date
- John Aubrey – Miscellanies
- Philip Ayres – The Revengeful Mistress
- Aphra Behn (died 1689) – The Histories and Novels of the Late Ingenious Mrs. Behn
- Charles Leslie – The Snake in the Grass
- Mary Pix – The Inhumane Cardinal; or, Innocence Betray'd (novel)
- John Suckling – The Works of Sir John Suckling
- John Tillotson – The Works of John Tillotson
- John Banks – Cyrus the Great, or The Tragedy of Love
- Aphra Behn – The Younger Brother
- Colley Cibber – Love's Last Shift
- Thomas Doggett – The Country Wake
- Thomas D'Urfey – The Comical History of Don Quixote. The Third Part
- George Granville, 1st Baron Lansdowne – The She-Gallants
- Joseph Harris – The City Bride; or, The Merry Cuckold (adapted from A Cure for a Cuckold)
- Charles Hopkins – Neglected Virtue
- Delarivier Manley
- The Lost Lover, or The Jealous Husband
- The Royal Mischief
- Peter Anthony Motteux
- Mary Pix
- The Spanish Wives
- Ibrahim, the Thirteenth Emperour of the Turks
- Edward Ravenscroft – The Anatomist, or the Sham Doctor
- Thomas Southerne – Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave: a tragedy (adapted from Aphra Behn's novel Oroonoko - published)
- John Vanbrugh – The Relapse
- Nicholas Brady and Nahum Tate – New Version of the Psalms of David
- John Dryden – An Ode on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell (died 1695)
- John Oldmixon – Poems on Several Occasions
- Elizabeth Singer Rowe – Poems on Several Occasions
- Nahum Tate – Miscellanea Sacra; or, Poems on Divine & Moral Subjects
- Richard Baxter – Reliquiae Baxterianae (posthumous)
- John Bellers – Proposals for Raising a College of Industry of All Useful Trades and Husbandry
- Gerard Croese – The General History of the Quakers (translation)
- Judith Drake (attributed) – An Essay in Defence of the Female Sex (anonymous)
- Delarivier Manley – Letters Written by Mrs. Manley
- William Penn – Primitive Christianity Revived in the Faith and Practice of the People called Quakers
- John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby – The Character of Charles II, King of England
- John Toland – Christianity not Mysterious
- William Whiston – A New Theory of the Earth
- July 14 – William Oldys, English antiquary, bibliographer and poet (died 1761)
- September 25 – Madame du Deffand, French literary hostess (died 1780)
- October 13 – John Hervey, 2nd Baron Hervey, English memoirist and courtier (died 1743)
- Unknown date – Matthew Green, English writer of light verse and customs official (died 1737)
- January 3 – Mary Mollineux, English Quaker poet (born c.1651)
- March 18 – Bonaventura Baron, Irish theologian, philosopher and writer in Latin (born 1610)
- April 27 – Simon Foucher, French polemic philosopher (born 1644)
- May 10 – Jean de La Bruyère, French essayist (born 1645)
- June 9 – Antoine Varillas, French historian (born 1626)
- August 9 – Wacław Potocki, Polish nobleman (Szlachta), moralist, Baroque poet and writer (born 1621)
- September 8 – Henry Birkhead, English academic, lawyer, Latin poet and founder of the Oxford Chair of Poetry (born 1617)
- November 26 – Gregório de Matos, Brazilian Baroque poet (born 1636)
- Unknown dates
- Philip H. Highfill; Kalman A. Burnim; Edward A. Langhans (1975). A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers and Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800: Cabanel to Cory. SIU Press. p. 216. ISBN 978-0-8093-0692-3.
- William Penn (1857). Primitive Christianity Revived in the Faith and Practice of the People Called Quakers. Miller & Burlock. p. 3.
- Richard Kozar; William J. Burling (2000). Summer Theatre in London, 1661-1820, and the Rise of the Haymarket Theatre. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 43. ISBN 978-0-8386-3811-8.
- Palmer, Alan; Palmer, Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 200–201. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Thomas DOGGET (1696). The Country Wake: a comedy. In five acts and in prose.
- George Watson; Ian R. Willison; J. D. Pickles (2 July 1971). The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: Volume 2, 1660-1800. Cambridge University Press. pp. 765–. ISBN 978-0-521-07934-1.
- She Ventures, and He Wins. A comedy ... For Hen. Rhodes. 1696.
- George Watson; Ian R. Willison; J. D. Pickles (2 July 1971). The New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature: Volume 2, 1660-1800. Cambridge University Press. pp. 797–. ISBN 978-0-521-07934-1.
- John Dryden (29 September 1976). The Works of John Dryden, Volume XV: Plays: Albion and Albanius, Don Sebastian, Amphitryon. University of California Press. p. 330. ISBN 978-0-520-02129-7.
- W.H.G. Armytage (15 October 2013). Heavens Below: Utopian Experiments in England, 1560-1960. Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-134-52943-8.
- Berman, David (1995). Honderich, Ted (ed.). The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 877. ISBN 0-19-866132-0.
- Katharina M. Wilson; Paul Schlueter; June Schlueter (16 December 2013). Women Writers of Great Britain and Europe: An Encyclopedia. Routledge. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-135-61670-0.