Classics That Entered the Public Domain in 2023

On January 1, a new batch of classics has entered the public domain. Those who do not know what the public domain means, copyrighted works (books, movies, music, etc.) enter the United States’ public domain after 95 years. This meaning they are freely accessible for the public. 

This also means that there could be different retellings of classic works, tales like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. So it will be exciting to see what new creative interpretations people imagine. When they become available, readers will read them for free online on sites, like Project Gutenberg. It may not be on the website right away. Give it some time. It takes a while to transfer to text for online reading.

Here is a list of creative works published/released first in 1927. However, here is a list of some highlights that may catch your eye:

Death Comes for Archbishop by Willa Cather

Willa Cather’s best known novel is an epic–almost mythic–story of a single human life lived simply in the silence of the southwestern desert. In 1851 Father Jean Marie Latour comes to serve as the Apostolic Vicar to New Mexico. What he finds is a vast territory of red hills and tortuous arroyos, American by law but Mexican and Indian in custom and belief. In the almost forty years that follow, Latour spreads his faith in the only way he knows–gently, all the while contending with an unforgiving landscape, derelict and sometimes openly rebellious priests, and his own loneliness. Out of these events, Cather gives us an indelible vision of life unfolding in a place where time itself seems suspended. (Credit: Vintage)

The Big Four by Agatha Christie

Framed in the doorway of Poirot’s bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man’s gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell. 

Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about ‘Number Four’. (Credit: HarperCollins)

Fine more of Christie’s novels in the public domain here.

The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

In this, the final collection of Sherlock Holmes adventures, the intrepid detective and his faithful companion Dr Watson examine and solve twelve cases that puzzle clients, baffle the police and provide readers with the thrill of the chase.

These mysteries – involving an illustrious client and a Sussex vampire; the problems of Thor Bridge and of the Lions Mane; a creeping man and the three-gabled house – all test the bravery of Dr Watson and the brilliant mind of Mr Sherlock Homes, the greatest detective we have ever known. (Credit: Collector’s Library)

Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway

First published in 1927, Men Without Women represents some of Hemingway’s most important and compelling early writing. In these fourteen stories, Hemingway begins to examine the themes that would occupy his later works: the casualties of war, the often uneasy relationship between men and women, sport and sportsmanship. In Banal Story, Hemingway offers a lasting tribute to the famed matador Maera. In Another Country tells of an Italian major recovering from war wounds as he mourns the untimely death of his wife. The Killers is the hard-edged story about two Chicago gunmen and their potential victim. Nick Adams makes an appearance in Ten Indians, in which he is presumably betrayed by his Indian girlfriend, Prudence. And Hills Like White Elephants is a young couple’s subtle, heartwrenching discussion of abortion. Pared down, gritty, and subtly expressive, these stories show the young Hemingway emerging as America’s finest short story writer. (Credit: Scribner Book Company)

Fine Clothes To The Jew by Langston Hughes

These poems, for the most part, interpret the more primitive types of American Negro, the bell-boys, the cabaret girls, the migratory workers, the singers of Blues and Spirituals, and the makers of folk-songs. As in The Weary Blues, Mr. Hughes expresses the joy and pathos, the beauty and ugliness, of their lives. (Credit: Alfred A. Knopf)

Pomes Penyeach by James Joyce

This early work by James Joyce was originally published in 1927 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introduction. ‘Pomes Penyeach’ is a collection of Joyce’s poetry. James Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1882. He excelled as a student at the Jesuit schools Clongowes and Belvedere, and then at University College Dublin, where he studied English, French, and Italian. Joyce produced several prominent works, including: ‘Ulysses’, ‘A Portrait of the Young Artist’, ‘Dubliners’, and ‘Finnegans Wake. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential writers of the early twentieth century and his legacy can be seen throughout modern literature. (Credit: Ragged Hand – Read & Co.)

Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne

Readers have treasured A. A. Milne’s endearing poems for generatations. In this beautiful full-color gift edition of “Now We Are Six, ” each of Ernest H. Shepard’s beloved illustrations has been meticulously hand-painted. A stunning volume and the essential gift for that all important birthday, this book is a must for any collection, and for many years. (Credit: TurtleBack)

Cogewea The Half-Blood: A Depiction of the Great Montana Cattle Range by Mourning Dove

One of the first known novels by a Native American woman, Cogewea (1927) is the story of a half-blood girl caught between the worlds of Anglo ranchers and full-blood reservation Indians; between the craven and false-hearted easterner Alfred Densmore and James LaGrinder, a half-blood cowboy and the best rider on the Flathead; between book learning and the folk wisdom of her full-blood grandmother. The book combines authentic Indian lore with the circumstance and dialogue of a popular romance; in its language, it shows a self-taught writer attempting to come to terms with the rift between formal written style and the comfort-able rhythms and slang of familiar speech. Mourning Dove, the author of Cogewea, was an Okanogan of eastern Washington. She lived as a migrant farmworker and, after ten-hour days in the hop fields and apple orchards, faithfully returned to the battered typewriter in her tent. Lucullus Virgil McWhorter, a respected and sympathetic student of Indian lore and history, encouraged her in her ambition to be a writer; finally she made her book a record of the folklore of the Okanogan tribe, a plea for the welfare of the half-blood, and above all the testimony to her own singleminded dedication. (Credit: University of Nebraska Press)

To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse is made up of three powerfully charged visions into the life of the Ramsay family living in a summer house off the rocky coast of Scotland. There’s the serene and maternal Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet absurd Mr. Ramsay, their eight children, and assorted holiday guests. From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse, Woolf examines tensions and allegiances and shows the small joys and quiet tragedies of everyday life that seemingly could go on forever.

But as time winds its way through their lives, the Ramsays face, alone and together, the greatest of human challenges and its greatest triumph–the human capacity for change. A moving portrait in miniature of family life, To the Lighthouse also has profoundly universal implications, giving language to the silent space that separates people and the space that they transgress to reach each other. (Credit: Harvest Books)

Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers

The wealthy old woman was dead — a trifle sooner than expected. The intricate trail of horror and senseless murder led from a beautiful hampshire village to a fashionable London flat and a deliberate test of “amour” — staged by the debonair sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey. (Credit: Harper Paperbacks)

Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse

Harry Haller is a sad and lonely figure, a reclusive intellectual for whom life holds no joy. He struggles to reconcile the wild primeval wolf and the rational man within himself without surrendering to the bourgeois values he despises. His life changes dramatically when he meets a woman who is his opposite, the carefree and elusive Hermine. The tale of the Steppenwolf culminates in the surreal Magic Theater—For Madmen Only!

Mosquitoes by William Faulkner

The hour-by-hour, day-by-day organization of the novel suggests, in form as well as function, the nature of the repetitive and mundane days spent on the cruise ship. By grounding the repetitive activities of the characters in concrete temporal divisions, Faulkner gives structure to what might otherwise seem to be an endless stream of conversation and interaction between various combinations of the yacht’s passengers. (Credit: Murine Publications LLC)



Published by karma2015

I was born and raised in New York. I still live in New York but kind of sick of the city and one day I wish to move to the UK.I have a Masters degree in Library Science and I currently work in a special collections library. I loved books ever since I was a little girl. Through the hard times in my life, my love for books has always gotten me through. Just entering another world different from my own intrigues me. As long as I am entering in another universe, I like to create my own as well. I love to write and hopefully I will be able to complete a novel.

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