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Jane Austen News – Issue 147

The Jane Austen News looks forward to Sanditon

What’s the Jane Austen News this week? 


Happy Public Domain Day! 


On January the 1st 2019, hundreds of works of art entered the U.S. public domain following a delay of two decades!

Thanks to a bill which extended copyright terms in 1998, one which was urged in by the Walt Disney Company (in a bid to protect Mickey Mouse) this huge release of early twentieth century works into the public domain hasn’t happened for 21 years. This created a “bizarre 20-year hiatus between the release of works from 1922 and 1923.”

At the Jane Austen News, we really enjoy seeing how out-of-copyright works (such as Pride and Prejudice) can be used to be the basis of, and the inspiration for, new works of art – both literary and visual. Thanks to public domain laws we’ve been able to see stage productions of Jane’s books, new films, and new fiction (What Kitty Did Next and Death Comes to Pemberley for example). We’re therefore highly keen to see what the new release of work may lead to.

Some of the works which are now in the public domain include:

  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • Two of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot novels, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and The Murder on the Links
  • A Son At The Front by Edith Wharton
  • Poetry by Robert Frost
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