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100 best public domain classic novels you can read for FREE

classic public domain books free to read
  1. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen: Set in rural England, this novel revolves around the lively and rebellious Elizabeth Bennet as she navigates societal norms, personal prejudices, and her complicated feelings for the aloof Mr. Darcy.
  2. “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville: Captain Ahab’s manic obsession with hunting the white whale that disfigured him drives this epic seafaring tale, exploring themes of vengeance, obsession, and the destructive power of nature.
  3. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte: A haunting love story between the brooding Heathcliff and the fiery Catherine Earnshaw, set against the bleak landscape of the Yorkshire moors, depicting the destructive power of obsession and revenge.
  4. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte: Jane, an orphan turned governess, comes of age in this novel, grappling with love, morality, and self-worth when she falls for her mysterious employer, Mr. Rochester.
  5. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker: This timeless horror novel chronicles the battle between a small group of people and the ancient vampire Dracula, testing their courage and their will to survive.
  6. “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” by Arthur Conan Doyle: Join the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and his loyal friend Dr. Watson as they solve some of Victorian London’s most intriguing mysteries.
  7. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde: Dorian Gray, corrupted by the hedonistic lifestyle of Victorian London, remains eternally youthful while a portrait of him ages and shows the effects of his moral decay.
  8. “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells: When Martians invade Earth, humanity must confront its own vulnerability and the prospect of its annihilation, testing the limits of its ingenuity and resilience.
  9. “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley: Driven by ambition, scientist Victor Frankenstein creates life, only to shun his monstrous creation and face the dire consequences of playing God.
  10. “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas: After a wrongful imprisonment, Edmond Dantès escapes and, rich with treasure, meticulously plots revenge against those who betrayed him.
  11. “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott: The March sisters navigate the trials and tribulations of growing up during the American Civil War, exploring love, loss, and the importance of family.
  12. “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens: Oliver, an orphan in Victorian London, navigates a world of thieves and vagabonds, seeking to find his place in a society that often overlooks the poor and disadvantaged.
  13. “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame” by Victor Hugo: Amid the Gothic backdrop of medieval Paris, Quasimodo, a hunchbacked bell-ringer, Esmeralda, a compassionate gypsy, and Frollo, a tormented priest, find their fates intertwined.
  14. “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo: In the aftermath of the French Revolution, ex-convict Jean Valjean seeks redemption while being pursued by the relentless Inspector Javert in this exploration of justice, forgiveness, and societal reform.
  15. “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens: This novel traverses London and Paris during the French Revolution, presenting a tale of love, sacrifice, and redemption amidst violent social upheaval.
  16. “The Three Musketeers” by Alexandre Dumas: Young D’Artagnan joins forces with the King’s Musketeers to foil Cardinal Richelieu’s conspiracy, journeying through a world of swashbuckling adventure, camaraderie, and political intrigue.
  17. eat Expectations” by Charles Dickens: Orphan Pip’s life is forever changed by an anonymous patron who finances his ascent in society, leading him through a journey of self-discovery, love, and the true nature of wealth.
  18. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain: Huck Finn and runaway slave Jim journey down the Mississippi River in this American classic, facing a host of challenges and moral dilemmas that test their friendship and humanity.
  19. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain: Mischievous Tom Sawyer embarks on a series of adventures in the small town of St. Petersburg, navigating friendship, romance, and danger while painting a vivid picture of childhood in 19th-century America.
  20. “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift: Lemuel Gulliver’s fantastical voyages to extraordinary lands become a biting satire on human nature, society, and the “traveler’s tales” popular in Swift’s time.
  21. “The Iliad” by Homer: In the last weeks of the Trojan War, Greek hero Achilles’ wrath alters the course of the war, leading to tragedy in this epic exploration of heroism, honor, and the human cost of war.
  22. “The Odyssey” by Homer: After the Trojan War, Greek hero Odysseus embarks on a perilous journey home, encountering mythical creatures, divine entities, and human treachery.
  23. “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes: An elderly nobleman becomes a wandering knight, tackling imaginary enemies in this tragicomic exploration of reality, illusion, and the power of literature.
  24. “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe: Shipwrecked on a deserted island, Robinson Crusoe must overcome the challenges of survival with resourcefulness and resilience in this pioneering work of realistic fiction.
  25. “The Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri: Dante’s epic journey through Hell (Inferno), Purgatory (Purgatorio), and Paradise (Paradiso) explores Christian themes of the afterlife, morality, and the human soul’s journey towards God.
  26. “Candide” by Voltaire: Young Candide embarks on a series of absurd and disastrous adventures, testing his optimism and challenging the notion that we live in the “best of all possible worlds.”
  27. “The Decameron” by Giovanni Boccaccio: Ten young people flee plague-stricken Florence, telling each other tales of love, tragedy, and comedy, providing a snapshot of 14th-century Italy.
  28. “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer: On a pilgrimage to Canterbury, a diverse group of travelers entertain each other with stories, offering a vivid picture of medieval England’s complexity and contradiction.
  29. “The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli: This political treatise explores power, leadership, and the qualities of an effective ruler, marking a departure from traditional, idealistic political theory.
  30. “The Republic” by Plato: Through dialogues, Plato explores justice, the ideal society, and the philosopher’s role, crafting foundational philosophical ideas that continue to provoke thought.
  31. “The Apology” by Plato: Plato’s account of Socrates’ trial and his defense against the charges of corrupting the youth and impiety in ancient Athens.
  32. “Metamorphoses” by Ovid: This epic poem of transformation myths, ranging from creation to the deification of Julius Caesar, served as a significant source of Greek and Roman mythology.
  33. “Beowulf”: In this Old English epic poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of the Danish king, battling monstrous foes including the fierce Grendel, exploring themes of heroism, fate, and mortality.
  34. Paradise Lost” by John Milton: This epic poem portrays the biblical fall of man by recounting the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden.
  35. “Faust” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Faust, a scholar dissatisfied with life, makes a pact with the devil, trading his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures, in this exploration of good, evil, and human aspiration.
  36. “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare: This tragic play tells the story of two young lovers whose deaths reconcile their feuding families, epitomizing young love, fate, and the destructive consequences of familial conflict.
  37. “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare: The Prince of Denmark seeks to avenge his father’s death, facing the moral quandary of revenge, the question of his sanity, and the corruption within his kingdom.
  38. “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare: After hearing a prophecy from three witches, Macbeth, a Scottish general, is driven to murder and usurp the throne, leading to his eventual downfall.
  39. “Othello” by William Shakespeare: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, is manipulated into believing his beloved wife Desdemona has been unfaithful, leading to destructive jealousy and tragedy.
  40. “King Lear” by William Shakespeare: King Lear’s decision to divide his kingdom among his three daughters ignites a tragic sequence of events marked by betrayal, madness, and loss.
  1. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare: This comedic play weaves together various plots involving two young couples, a group of amateur actors, and mischievous fairies during a midsummer night in a magical forest.
  2. “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare: Exiled on a remote island, sorcerer Prospero conjures a storm to settle old scores and chart a course for his daughter’s future, exploring themes of power, forgiveness, and colonialism.
  3. “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare: A loan agreement between a merchant in dire straits and a moneylender escalates into a high-stakes conflict, highlighting the tension between mercy and justice, love and law.
  4. “The Taming of the Shrew” by William Shakespeare: The fiery Katherina and fortune-seeking Petruchio engage in a battle of wits and wills in this comedy about courtship, marriage, and societal expectations of gender.
  5. “Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare: In this comedy of mistaken identities, shipwrecked Viola, disguised as a man, finds herself at the center of a convoluted love triangle.
  6. “As You Like It” by William Shakespeare: Fleeing persecution, Rosalind finds love and freedom in the Forest of Arden in this romantic comedy that explores themes of nature, love, and identity.
  7. “The Winter’s Tale” by William Shakespeare: A Sicilian king’s unfounded jealousy sets in motion a tale of loss and redemption, weaving together tragedy and comedy, pastoral idyll and magical resurrection.
  8. “Henry IV, Part 1” by William Shakespeare: As rebellion brews, Prince Hal must choose between royal duty and riotous fun in this exploration of power, ambition, and the transition from youth to maturity.
  9. “Henry IV, Part 2” by William Shakespeare: This history play continues the story of Prince Hal’s journey, grappling with the burdens of kingship, the cost of maturity, and the inevitable passage of time.
  10. “Henry V” by William Shakespeare: Newly crowned King Henry V of England sets out to conquer France, offering a nuanced portrait of leadership, war, and the human condition.

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  11. “Richard III” by William Shakespeare: Richard, Duke of Gloucester, manipulates and murders his way to the English crown, showcasing the disastrous consequences of unchecked ambition and power.
  12. “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde: In this sparkling comedy, two young gentlemen use the same pseudonym, “Ernest,” leading to a delightful confusion of identity, social obligations, and love.
  13. “An Ideal Husband” by Oscar Wilde: A high-ranking politician’s past mistake threatens his perfect reputation, leading to a whirl of blackmail, honor, love, and the clash between public and private morality.
  14. “Lady Windermere’s Fan” by Oscar Wilde: A young woman’s suspicion of her husband’s infidelity leads to a cascade of revelations, exploring the double standards of Victorian society and the nature of true love.
  15. “Salomé” by Oscar Wilde: Based on the biblical story, Princess Salome’s infatuation with John the Baptist culminates in a lethal dance of seduction, power, and desire.
  16. “The Critique of Pure Reason” by Immanuel Kant: This seminal philosophical work seeks to reconcile empiricism and rationalism, establishing a new groundwork for understanding the nature and limits of human knowledge.
  17. “The Critique of Practical Reason” by Immanuel Kant: Kant discusses the nature of moral philosophy, asserting the concept of the categorical imperative as the basis for our ethical duties.
  1. “The Critique of Judgment” by Immanuel Kant: Kant bridges the gap between theoretical and practical philosophy by examining aesthetic judgement and the concept of the sublime, culminating in a more complete understanding of his metaphysical ideas.
  2. “The World as Will and Representation” by Arthur Schopenhauer: This philosophical masterpiece asserts that will is the underlying reality of the world, influencing our perceptions and experiences.
  3. “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche: Nietzsche’s philosophical novel presents the journey of the prophet Zarathustra, introducing ideas of the Übermensch, the death of God, and the will to power.
  4. “Beyond Good and Evil” by Friedrich Nietzsche: Nietzsche critiques past philosophers and offers a new way of thinking that goes beyond simple notions of good and evil, highlighting the importance of individual perspectives.
  5. “The Genealogy of Morals” by Friedrich Nietzsche: Nietzsche explores the origins and development of moral concepts, arguing they emerged from the power dynamics of social relationships.
  6. “Demian” by Hermann Hesse: A young man, Emil Sinclair, navigates the duality of his nature, societal expectations, and the search for self-identity under the mentorship of the enigmatic Max Demian.
  7. “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse: Siddhartha’s spiritual journey in ancient India, seeking enlightenment, is a profound exploration of self-discovery, spirituality, and the quest for inner peace.
  8. “Steppenwolf” by Hermann Hesse: An alienated intellectual, Harry Haller, confronts his divided nature and bourgeois society, exploring themes of alienation, the unconscious, and the search for authenticity.
  9. “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London: A domesticated dog, Buck, is thrust into the harsh Yukon wilderness and must tap into his wild instincts to survive and become a leader in the wild.
  10. “White Fang” by Jack London: Born in the wild, half-dog, half-wolf White Fang struggles for survival and is eventually tamed, exploring the violent world of wild animals and the equally violent world of humans.
  11. “The Sea-Wolf” by Jack London: Shipwrecked intellectual Humphrey van Weyden is rescued by a brutal sea captain, Wolf Larsen, in a tense exploration of survival, power, and the meaning of life.
  12. “A Journey to the Center of the Earth” by Jules Verne: A professor, his nephew, and their guide descend into an Icelandic volcano, discovering a fantastic world in the earth’s core, in this classic science fiction adventure.
  13. “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne: The enigmatic Captain Nemo takes three accidental guests on an underwater voyage aboard the Nautilus, revealing the marvels and terrors of the deep sea.
  14. “Around the World in Eighty Days” by Jules Verne: Phileas Fogg bets that he can travel around the world in 80 days, embarking on a race against time filled with adventures, obstacles, and the unexpected.
  15. “The Mysterious Island” by Jules Verne: Five Union prisoners of war escape in a hot air balloon, only to crash on an uncharted island where they must use their wits and ingenuity to survive.
  16. “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells: A Victorian scientist invents a machine that travels through time, exploring futuristic societies to reflect on social and evolutionary trends.
  17. “The First Men in the Moon” by H.G. Wells: Two men journey to the moon, discovering a sophisticated alien civilization, in this critique of imperialism and exploration of human nature.
  1. “The Island of Doctor Moreau” by H.G. Wells: A shipwrecked man finds himself on an island inhabited by grotesque human-animal hybrids, confronting the ethical limits of science and the nature of humanity.
  2. “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells: A scientist discovers a way to become invisible, leading to a descent into madness, crime, and a chilling exploration of power and morality.
  3. “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad: A voyage up the Congo River reveals the brutal realities of European imperialism and the darkness within the human soul, as told through the experiences of Captain Charles Marlow.
  4. “Lord Jim” by Joseph Conrad: A young sailor’s cowardly act haunts him, leading him on a quest for redemption and a confrontation with his past in this exploration of guilt, identity, and honor.
  5. “Nostromo” by Joseph Conrad: Set in the fictional South American country of Costaguana, this novel explores the corrupting influence of power and greed through the story of the enigmatic Nostromo, a man torn between loyalty and self-interest.
  6. “The Secret Agent” by Joseph Conrad: A tale of espionage and terrorism in late 19th-century London, this novel delves into political radicalism, anarchism, and the disillusionment of modern life.
  7. “Victory” by Joseph Conrad: A man’s desire for isolation is disrupted by the arrival of a woman in his life and the sinister forces that follow her, leading to a struggle for love and survival.
  8. “The Rainbow” by D.H. Lawrence: Spanning three generations of the Brangwen family, this novel explores the shifting social landscape of rural England, the changing roles of men and women, and the search for individual freedom and identity.
  9. “Women in Love” by D.H. Lawrence: This sequel to “The Rainbow” follows the lives and loves of two sisters, exploring themes of passion, desire, and the struggle for personal fulfillment.
  10. “Sons and Lovers” by D.H. Lawrence: A young man’s journey to independence is shaped by his relationships with his overbearing mother and his lovers, reflecting on the complexities of love, family, and self-discovery.
  11. “The Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft: A series of disturbing events and discoveries lead a man to the horrifying truth about an ancient cosmic entity, unveiling a world of terror, madness, and the supernatural.
  12. “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft: In a small New England town, a monstrous birth and the subsequent terror it unleashes force a group of scholars to confront an unspeakable horror from beyond our world.
  13. “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” by H.P. Lovecraft: A traveler’s visit to the decaying coastal town of Innsmouth unveils a chilling secret, revealing a world of ancient cults, monstrous creatures, and humanity’s darkest fears.
  14. “At the Mountains of Madness” by H.P. Lovecraft: An Antarctic expedition uncovers the remnants of a prehistoric civilization, leading to a terrifying descent into an alien world of ancient horrors.
  15. “The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath” by H.P. Lovecraft: A man’s quest to find the mysterious city of his dreams takes him through realms of fantasy and nightmare, confronting the limits of human knowledge and the nature of reality.
  16. “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll: A young girl’s journey down a rabbit hole leads her into a fantastical world of wonder, nonsense, and unforgettable characters.
  17. “Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll: Alice’s return to the whimsical world of Wonderland, this time through a mirror, leads her on a chess-like game, encountering enigmatic characters and paradoxical logic.
  18. “The Hunting of the Snark” by Lewis Carroll: An allegorical poem following a crew of unlikely adventurers on a quest to find an elusive creature, exploring themes of ambition, perseverance, and the absurdity of life.
  19. “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter: A rebellious little rabbit’s adventures in Mr. McGregor’s garden bring to life the struggle between curiosity and obedience.
  20. “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame: A charming tale of anthropomorphized animals—Mole, Ratty, Toad, and Badger—and their adventures along the river, in the Wild Wood, and beyond, revealing the enduring value of friendship, home, and nature.
  21. “Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson: A young boy’s adventure on the high seas with a crew of pirates in search of buried treasure explores themes of courage, loyalty, and the thirst for adventure.
  22. “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson: A respected doctor’s experiment to separate his good and evil natures results in a monstrous alter ego, revealing the duality of human nature and the struggle between good and evil.
  23. “Kidnapped” by Robert Louis Stevenson: After being kidnapped and sold into slavery, a young man embarks on a thrilling journey across the Scottish Highlands to reclaim his rightful inheritance.
  24. “The Last of the Mohicans” by James Fenimore Cooper: Amid the French and Indian War, a group of people are escorted through dangerous territory by Hawk-eye, a frontier scout, in a dramatic exploration of cultural conflict, friendship, and survival.
  25. “Moll Flanders” by Daniel Defoe: Moll Flanders navigates a world of limited opportunities for women, resorting to manipulation, seduction, and theft in a frank depiction of the struggle for survival and respectability.
  26. “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoevsky: A desperate young man commits a terrible crime in the belief that he is beyond moral law, leading to a psychological battle between guilt, redemption, and the morality of his “superman” theory.

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