As we move into 2023, many beloved works of literature will be entering the public domain. In this article, we will take a closer look at some of the books that are turning public domain books in 2023, including works by well-known authors such as Agatha Christie, Aldous Huxley, and Virginia Woolf. This means that these works will be free to use and distribute without any legal restrictions, opening up new opportunities for artists, filmmakers, and other creatives to draw upon these stories and characters in their own work.
Books That Are Turning Public Domain Books in 2023
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
- Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
- The Big Four by Agatha Christie
- The Case Book Of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway
- Fine Clothes To The Jew by Langston Hughes
- Copper Sun by Countee Cullen
- The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury
- The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon
- Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf’s novel “To The Lighthouse” may not generate as many adaptations as “The Great Gatsby,” but it has left an indelible mark on literature. The Ramsay family spends a decade vacationing on the Isle of Skye, residing in a summer home and experiencing both joy and sorrow. While Mr. Ramsay’s strained presence creates tension, Mrs. Ramsay exudes a serene maternal calmness. Postponing their trip to a nearby lighthouse may appear insignificant, but it catalyzes a powerful exploration of family dynamics, gender roles, and human relationships. Woolf’s masterful use of time brings to life the Ramsays’ capacity to navigate life’s trials and triumphs, adapt, and transform.
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Willa Cather’s renowned novel, “Death Comes for the Archbishop,” depicts the epic tale of one man’s life in the vast and silent southwestern desert. Father Jean Marie Latour becomes the Apostolic Vicar of New Mexico in 1851, arriving to a territory that is both American in law and Mexican and Indian in customs and beliefs. Over the next four decades, he gently spreads his faith despite the challenges of a harsh landscape, disobedient priests, and his own loneliness. Cather’s fictionalized version of the true story of Jean-Baptiste Lamy and Joseph Projectus Machebeuf provides a timeless portrayal of life in a place where time seems to stand still.
The Big Four by Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot, the famous detective, is the protagonist of this novel that sees him confronted with an unknown man, covered in dust, who collapses in his bedroom doorway. The man’s identity remains a mystery, and the significance of the repeated scribbles of the number 4 is unclear. Poirot embarks on a dangerous investigation, uncovering an intricate web of international intrigue. This book is the fifth featuring Poirot to enter the public domain, following in the footsteps of Sherlock Holmes. Additionally, the first Miss Marple story, “The Tuesday Night Club,” will also enter the public domain.
The Case Book Of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This is the final collection of Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to enter the public domain, meaning that the author’s estate can no longer take legal action against works that portray the character in certain ways. The book features twelve perplexing cases that challenge both the bravery of Dr. Watson and the brilliant mind of Sherlock Holmes, including mysteries involving an illustrious client, a Sussex vampire, and a three-gabled house. This annotated edition also includes a detailed biography of the author and the original classic illustrations, with all the written words remaining unedited from the original.
Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway
Men Without Women is a collection of fourteen short stories that marked the early and compelling writing of Ernest Hemingway. These classic stories were first published in 1927 and offer a glimpse into the themes that would later become synonymous with Hemingway’s work, such as the consequences of war, gender dynamics, and sportsmanship. Through tales like “The Killers,” “In Another Country,” and “Hills Like White Elephants,” Hemingway establishes himself as a master of the short story form with his pared-down, gritty style and subtle expression of complex emotions. Men Without Women showcases the emergence of Hemingway as America’s most celebrated short story writer.
Fine Clothes To The Jew by Langston Hughes
Langston Hughes’ “Fine Clothes to the Jew” is a collection of short stories that examines the lives of African Americans in the 1920s and 1930s. The stories delve into themes of race, class, and identity, often through the eyes of ordinary people trying to navigate a society that is hostile and unforgiving. The characters in these stories are often caught between the desire to assimilate and the need to preserve their cultural heritage, and their struggles are a testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. With his trademark blend of humor, pathos, and social commentary, Hughes offers a powerful and deeply moving portrait of a community in crisis.
Copper Sun by Countee Cullen
Copper Sun is a collection of poems exploring the theme of love, published in 1927 in New York. The poems depict love between people of different races and extend to natural elements like plants and trees. Some poems associate love with Christianity, while others blend pagan and Christian influences. “One Day We Played a Game” emphasizes the importance of love in life, while “Love’s Way” portrays love as a unifying force that connects the world. The poem suggests that love is courteous and not demanding, and it can fix, regrow, and heal itself. Overall, Copper Sun presents a diverse range of perspectives on love, including its dark and light aspects.
The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury
For a long time, The Gangs of New York has been circulated among its loyal readers. The book provides a glimpse into a city that is now completely unrecognizable, characterized by extreme poverty and persistent violence. It is a mixture of various sources, including legend, police records, the stories of aging criminals, popular journalism, and accurate historical research, as described by Luc Sante. Asbury’s work is regarded as the authoritative account of the gangs of old New York, which played a significant role in the emergence of the modern Mafia, as portrayed in popular movies like The Godfather. The book is an enlightening exploration of this subject.
The Tower Treasure by Franklin W. Dixon
As The Hardy Boys approach their 100th anniversary, they continue to be the quintessential mystery and detective stories for young readers, with “The Tower Mystery” introducing action, mystery, and suspense themes that still thrill readers today. The story begins with Frank and Joe, on their motorcycles, delivering important papers to a lawyer in Willowville for their father, Fenton Hardy, a renowned private investigator in Bayport. While on the road, a reckless driver almost forces them off the embankment. Soon, the boys discover that their friend Chet’s yellow car has been stolen, possibly by the same red-haired driver, and that stolen loot may be the motive. Later, a dying criminal confesses to hiding the loot “in the tower,” leading the Hardy Boys on an incredible journey of discovery.
Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne
The deluxe editions of Milne and Shepard’s classic works are comprised of four volumes, including When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. These books are just as beautiful as their companions, the Winnie-the-Pooh 80th Anniversary Edition and The House At Pooh Corner, featuring full-color artwork on cream-colored stock. Milne’s poetry is imbued with the same imaginative charm that has made Pooh the most beloved bear in the world, and Ernest H. Shepard’s clever and affectionate illustrations enhance the delightful gift editions.
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