Who and what is entering the public domain early in 2022, for nations following the 70 year rule (author died in 1951)?

* Algernon Blackwood, author of the famous story “The Willows” etc. He needs no introduction here.

* Richard Malden, churchman and sometime writer of British ghost-stories. These are collected in the book Nine Ghosts (1942), and were said to have been written for his friend and fellow ghost-story writer M.R. James.

* Gelett Burgess, all-round American humourist and wit, novelist and nonsense poet at the cusp of modernism. Introduced Cubism to the American public with his article “The Wild Men of Paris”. Creator of the 1920s comic-strip infants ‘The Goops’, who had earlier appeared in his humorous books on infant manners. Produced books of parody such as The Rubaiyat of Omar Cayenne, and a mystery-detective book The Master of Mysteries: Being an Account of the Problems Solved By Astro, Seer of Secrets (1912), this being “a cycle of short mystery stories featuring an eccentric amateur sleuth” — said to be an Armenian con-man who reluctantly has to do good.

* Bernhard Kellerman, noted for the best-selling science-fiction novel of a transatlantic tunnel, Der Tunnel (1913). This being said to be set in an alternative future in which the First World War had not happened. Built to “promote world peace” the tunnel apparently precipitates war and a great recession. The book was said to be gripping despite its bitter ironies and was filmed four times (mostly very badly, apparently). Translated into English as The Tunnel (Macaulay and Co., 1915). He is said to have written many short stories, and some dime novels after he was effectively banned from publishing by the Nazis, and so it’s possible that some more of his work might also have been science-fiction?

* Abraham Cahan, founding editor of the Jewish Daily Forward. Novels and stories of Yiddish New York City at the turn of the century, in English, such as Yekl: A Tale of the New York Ghetto (1896, filmed as Hester Street) and the New York career tale The Rise of David Levinsky (1917).

* Lloyd Cassel Douglas, one of the most popular authors of his era, now best known for his ‘Jesus & disciples epics’ such as The Robe and The Big Fisherman. Also a writer of medical ‘doctor’s diary’ casebook novels, of a type once popular.

* Isabel C. Clarke, prolific Catholic novelist. Once very well-known, she now seems to be completely forgotten even by Catholics. Definitely ‘not a Tolkien’, it seems, as she stuck with domestic settings. But did produce several biographies of writers, including Haworth Parsonage: A Picture Of The Bronte Family. It’s not impossible that the latter could be the basis of a new graphic novel or movie.

* Peter Cheyney, once one of the richest British genre authors but now forgotten. Wrote best-selling “American style hard boiled” crime novels in the 1930s and 40s. Some of the plots might be usefully lifted into new science-fiction settings?

* Joseph Conrad’s Congo diaries that were the source for his Heart of Darkness. To be found in print in Last Essays, which it appears has somehow remained in copyright until 2022.

* J.C. Leyendecker, famous American cover-artist and leading designer for magazines. Handsome and gay, his life could make for a new costume-drama bio-pic, feature documentary, graphic novel etc — and presumably much of the art will now be public domain if it wasn’t already?

* Hermann Broch, Austrian novelist described as a “metaphysical realist”, apparently merging mathematics and mysticism. A trilogy of late post-war novels is also said to have explored the rise of German Nazism and depicted different ‘Nazi types’. There are apparently translations, but these are presumably not going into the public domain. Still, there may be short stories needing translation.

* The French writer Andre Gide, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Though, for the Anglosphere, his work and letters will be in translation and these will not be going into the public domain. But he should be up for new unexpurgated translations. Some may also look to France in 1926, hoping it will lead to American public domain materials. But while Breton’s Surrealism and Painting and Aragon’s surrealist/psychogeographic Paris Peasant are both 1926, they were not translated and published in America at that time.

* Andrei Platonovich Platonov, an early writer of strange Russian science-fiction. Wrote a science-fiction trilogy in the 1920s, Descendants of the Sun, The Lunar Bomb, and Ethereal Trail. But he started to doubt the glorious socialist revolution, and a few years later his 15 year-old son was sent to what was effectively a death-camp and Platonov’s name was removed from the books on Communist literature. He continued to write “for the bottom drawer” but was hardly published except for some re-writes of folk-tales. His work does not seem to have been translated into English until fairly recently.

In the USA, works published and films released in 1926 will enter the public domain. Some of the authors below may well already be in the public domain.

* Spengler’s famous 1918 The Decline of the West… “appeared in its English edition in 1926” in both the USA and UK.

* Hugo Gernsback’s futuristic travel-tale novel Ralph 124C 41+: A Romance of the Year 2660 (1926 in book form). “Can be defended as the most important science-fiction novel ever written”, for encapsulating and launching an entire pulp genre (Gary Westfahl, The Mechanics of Wonder: The Creation of the Idea of Science Fiction). Seems most likely to become a full-cast audio adaptation, with sound FX?

* T.E. Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. The famously lucid autobiography of desert warfare, later beautifully filmed as Lawrence of Arabia. It’s difficult to see how a graphic novel version or movie remake might compete against David Lean’s masterpiece. But Lawrence died 1935, so it must already be public domain.

* Ronald Firbank’s Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli, said to be a posthumously published satiric Wildean comedy, of camp libidinous priests and cardinals with predilections for winsome choristers. Might make for a wild Joe Orton / Ronald Searle / Terry Gilliam -style animation?

* Edna Ferber’s 1926 novel Show Boat… “chronicles the lives of three generations of performers on the Cotton Blossom, a floating theatre on a steamboat that travels between small towns along the banks of the Mississippi River, from the 1880s to the 1920s.” Became a Broadway musical theatre hit. Possibly the property with the most TV mini-series potential, but it would be expensive to do in full costume, with boats and landscapes. Political correctness would probably now make it impossible to get the idea past producers, anyway.

* John Metcalfe’s weird collection The Smoking Leg, and other stories (1925). The 1926 U.S. first edition should put it in the public domain in the USA in 2022. In it Lovecraft especially admired the tale “The Bad Lands”.

* The highly acclaimed biography Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years.

* Honor Willsie Morrow, Splendid Journey. Best-selling stark and epic novel. Published as an adult book, but then taken up in a big way by what publishers would now term ‘young adults’. The story of a thirteen year old lad on the Oregon Trail, drawing on many old letters and reminiscences of a real party of children crossing America in the 1860s. Has obvious potential for adaptations or, for fewer problems with political correctness, translation into genres such as fantasy or science-fiction.

* “The Cowboy and His Interpreters, which appeared in 1926, has been a standard reference for nearly three decades” (from The American cowboy: the myth & the reality, 1955).

* Letters from a Roman Gentleman, being the selected and translated letters of Cicero in one volume, published by the University of California. Latin Notes called it “delightful” in 1927. Seems to have audiobook potential.

* The best-selling non-specialist Story of Philosophy, being… “a brilliant and concise account of the lives and ideas of the great philosophers”. Approachable chapters on Friedrich Nietzsche and George Santayana may make the book of interest to philosophic Lovecraftians. The revised second edition of 1933 will not be public domain.

* “S.L. MacGregor Mathers’ translation of The Kabbalah from the Hebrew originally appeared in 1926″.

* Graham Wallas published The Art of Thought, a well-regarded book on creativity and the creative process.

* Vita Sackville-West’s book The Land, an epic narrative poem of the British landscape, seasons and history. The ‘book-length poem’ format is not at all to modern tastes, but it could well make for an abridged graphic novel or radio adaptation.

* Carl Van Vechten’s breakthrough novel Trigger Heaven, about black life in Harlem in the early-mid 1920s. The Bookman said it did not “preach” but termed it “gaudy”, with its cast of characters being deemed a rather inauthentic mix of “blackface” and “whitewash”.

* The romantic ’90s by Richard Le Gallienne. A brisk and vivid survey of the decadents of the 1890s, and a book published on both sides of the Atlantic. Many of the writers and artists were or had been his friends.

* The Catholic writer Achmed Abdullah’s The Year of the Wood-Dragon (1926). “An American boy’s adventures on a journey into the interior of Tibet.” He was the screenplay writer for The Thief of Bagdad.

* Abraham Merritt’s 1926 book version of his 1924 The Ship of Ishtar, and Ships. Apparently a rip-roaring supernatural fantasy, that sold well and later influenced early D&D.

* Arthur Conan Doyle’s late novel The Land of Mist. Apparently a rather morbid pro-spiritualism novel, which only used his Professor Challenger character in places. His two-volume The History of Spiritualism appeared the same year. By this time Doyle was quite literally ‘away with the fairies’.

* Stanley Unwin’s The Truth about Publishing. “A fascinating insight into the problems, perils and delights of publishing books.” It went through eight editions. Could make for an engaging and bookish non-fiction graphic novel, if the subject matter is still relevant.

* Two biographical Poe books appeared in 1926, one “unscholarly and poorly organised” with little new information, and one an armchair “attempt at Freudian analysis”. Though, at the time of publication, Lovecraft found them useful as on-the-ground guidebooks to finding little-known Poe places.

* An insight into the Lovecraft era of astronomy, with Harlow Shapley’s Starlight, a ‘popular science’ book, and also Florence Armstrong Grondal’s more poetic Music of the Spheres: A Nature Lover’s Astronomy. Both entering the public domain in the USA.

* Joseph Pennell’s Pictures of Philadelphia. See Lovecraft’s Letters to Family, re: his long visit there. 64 lithographs, could be paired with Lovecraft’s text.

* Anne of Green Gables author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s The Blue Castle (1926) one of her two novels meant for adults. About an old maid in Canada who finds escape via literature and… “soon her daydreams about the Blue Castle turn into reality”.

* The Boy Through the Ages, a well-researched book on the daily life of boys from early times to the 19th century, cheerfully written for boys. British but appears to have had a New York edition variously listed as being published by “Doubleday Doran and Co.” or “George H. Doran” in 1926.

* The Velveteen Rabbit, a best-selling young children’s story book of 1926, published on both side of the Atlantic. Now very rare in original editions though, due to being extremely collectable. The same author also wrote the werewolf novel The Thing in the Woods under a pen-name.

* Felix Salten’s Bambi, A Life in the Woods.

* Enid Blyton’s Book of Brownies skips into the public domain in the USA. Brownies here being an old British word for ‘pixies’.

* “Bomba the Jungle Boy, published in 1926″ and popular then. Pulp or thereabouts, said to be “not unlike a youthful Tarzan”.

* Everything in Weird Tales for 1926. Inc. “The City of Spiders” by H. Warner Munn. Said to be “one of the best tales of giant spiders ever written” and thus a possible front story for a new anthology of such. His “The Werewolf of Ponkert” (1925) went into the public domain last year, and its 1927 companion will go in January 2023, “The Werewolf’s Daughter” (1928) following in 2024. His various related “Werewolf Clan” tales will then go over the following few years.

* Kipling’s penultimate collection of stories and poems, Debits and Credits. Kingsley Amis remarked of it… “some self-indulgent fantasy, some exercises in the supernatural … three good stories.”

* “In an interview published in Collier’s magazine in 1926, Nikola Tesla, then in the twilight of his career, made some predictions about the future”. Depending on the verbosity, it might be the basis for an interesting 45-minute radio-play?

* Personae: The Collected Poems of Ezra Pound, published in New York in 1926. This was… “his personal choice of all the poems he wished to keep in print other than some translations and his Cantos.”

* Lovecraft’s fellow writer and poet Hart Crane apparently sees his first collection, White Buildings, enter the public domain in the USA.

* Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage… “first appeared in 1926”. Though possibly not in the USA?

* The three volume 1926 Supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

* And of course the original Winnie the Pooh book, the title that will be endlessly parroted by journalists come January 2022. I’d expect that Disney has kept some kind of lock on its own cartoon depiction of the famous bear, and probably also trademarks in relation to how the character names are presented — so it’s not a Pooh free-for-all. But expect things like “Pooh-thlu” or “Poohthulhu” mash-ups mixing Pooh and Cthulhu.

* In music, H.P. Lovecraft’s favourite barbershop song of 1904, “Sweet Adeline” sung by The Haydn Quartet, also comes out of copyright in 2022 due to a 1951 death. I’ll get in first with a “Sweet Azathoth” version…

Sweet Azathoth,
My Azathoth,
At night, drear heart,
For you I pine.
In all my dreams,
Your cosmic beams.
You’re the idiot of my heart,
Sweet Azathoth. (My Azathoth.)

Also certain Caruso opera recordings, in the USA.

In movies, some of the key 1926 movies are:

Douglas Fairbanks’s The Black Pirate.
Buster Keaton’s The General.
Mary Pickford’s Sparrows.
Rudolph Valentino’s The Son of the Sheikh.
The German Faust.

I’m uncertain if Lotte Reiniger’s debut The Adventures of Prince Achmed was released in America in 1926. As a feature-length animation (then an unfamiliar form) it apparently had a troubled distribution history even in Germany.

Canada and South Africa and other nations which follow the 50 year rule (author died in 1971) get…

* C. M. Eddy, Lovecraft’s Providence friend and collaborator.
* August Derleth.
* John Wood Campbell Jr. (science-fiction author, famous editor of Analog).
* S. Foster Damon (William Blake expert).
* Virgil Finlay, the key early Lovecraft illustrator.

So Canadians get to re-write and tighten Derleth’s mythos with all the dross taken out, if they want.