Public Domain Classics


For my birthday, my wife and mother-in-law gave me a great gift -- Amazon.com's e-reader, the Kindle.  I've already downloaded a bunch of great titles, and so far, I haven't spent a cent because I'm starting out with free public domain classics.  (By the way, if there are any Kindle users reading this, my City of Kik blog is available for subscription, just click here.)

Public domain books are those whose copyright has expired (or never existed) and anyone has the right to use those words anyway they choose.  You still have to pay publishers of course for their printed editions of some of these classics, but now that they've become digitized, you can share the free versions on your electronic readers, your computers, your mobile devices.  If you're a writer, you can adapt any of those classics into other media versions without having to pay any royalties (but any new commentary, notes, etc., in some editions could be copyright protected, so doublecheck).

My favorite authors whose works are now in the public domain are:

  • William Shakespeare
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Charles Dickens
  • Lewis Carroll
  • H.G. Wells
  • Mark Twain
  • Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Washington Irving
  • Jules Verne
  • Bram Stoker
  • H.P. Lovecraft
  • Mary Shelley
  • L. Frank Baum
  • Oscar Wilde
  • Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Hans Christian Andersen
  • O. Henry
  • John Milton
There are so many more, from Plato and Homer to Jane Austin and Herman Melville.  Have I left any out that are your favorites?

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