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This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1679.
- June – Nathaniel Lee's play The Massacre at Paris (about the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572, as was Christopher Marlowe's play of the same title) is suppressed by King Charles II of England as anti-French, the French being English allies at this time.
- December 18 – Rose Alley ambuscade: John Dryden is set upon by three assailants in London, thought to have been instigated by the John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester in retaliation for an attack on "want of wit" in his poetry in The Essay on Satire (nominally by Dryden's patron, the poet John Sheffield, Earl of Musgrave, but probably with input from Dryden).
- John Locke returns to England from France.
- Étienne Baluze becomes almoner to King Louis XIV of France.
- Thomas Otway returns to England from military service in the Netherlands.
- Pu Songling probably compiles most of his Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio.
- Beaumont and Fletcher – Fifty Comedies and Tragedies, the second folio
- Aphra Behn
- The Feigned Courtesans
- The Young King
- John Crowne – The Ambitious Statesman, or the Loyal Favourite
- John Dryden
- Nathaniel Lee
- Caesar Borgia
- The Massacre at Paris
- Thomas Otway – The History and Fall of Caius Marius
- Jacques Pradon – La Troade
- Thomas Shadwell
- A True Widow
- The Woman Captain
- "Ephelia" (Mary Villiers?) – Female Poems...by Ephelia
- January 24 – Christian Wolff, German philosopher (died 1745)
- August 16 – Catherine Trotter Cockburn, English novelist, dramatist and philosopher (died 1749)
- September 11 – Thomas Parnell, Irish poet and cleric (died 1718)
- September 24 – Eugenio Gerardo Lobo, Spanish poet and soldier (died 1750)
- September 26 – Johann Gottlob Carpzov, German Biblical scholar (died 1767)
- October 26 – Heinrich Jacob Bashuysen, German printer (died c. 1750)
- Unknown dates
- Probable year of birth – Penelope Aubin, English novelist and translator (died c. 1731)
- January 11 – Joannes Lucius, Dalmatian historian (born 1604)
- February 5 – Joost van den Vondel, Dutch dramatist (born 1587)
- April 4 – Christian Hoffmann von Hoffmannswaldau, German poet (born 1616)
- June 7 – Alice Curwen, English autobiographer and Quaker (born c. 1619)
- August 27 – Jonas Moore, English mathematician and surveyor (born 1617)
- October 12 – William Gurnall, English writer and cleric (born 1617)
- October 26 – Roger Boyle, 1st Earl of Orrery Irish dramatist and soldier (born 1621)
- December 4 – Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher (born 1588)
- Unknown dates