I am looking for public domain, or creative commons fiction, with:

  • multiple main characters,
  • written in 3rd person
  • Each chapter focuses on a particular character

Modern examples of such books include George R.R Martin's a "Song of Ice and Fire" series.

This is related to my request from a few years ago: Novels with chapters annotated POV However now I am not looking for annotated books, just so long as they have multiple characters.

So far I have found on Project Gutenberg:

  • Charles Dicken's "A tale of two cities"
  • Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility"

On Wiki Source:

I've yet to uncover a way to search project Gutenberg or Wiki-Source based on these requirements.

  • 1
    you could ask the wikidata guys via Twitter if they can write a SPARQL query for you. (I cannot do it at this time, and I cannot tell if the Wikipedia Schema/Ontology does include predicates like "has chapter in 3rd person"). See Pinned Tweet at twitter.com/WikidataFacts : "By the way, if you have ideas for queries, feel free to send them my way, and I’ll try to express them in SPARQL :)"
    – knb
    Jan 30, 2018 at 13:05
  • wikidata guys say basically "no can do, the data is not there" Feb 5, 2018 at 14:05
  • Aha, sorry to hear that. -- You could also clarify your question how much (or how little) the main characters are "allowed to" interact. Within each chapter, specifically. To some degree they interact somewhat in most books, especially in later chapters. Or are you looking for books where the chapter title are explicitly given to the main character? e.g. Chapter 8: Orlando"
    – knb
    Feb 5, 2018 at 15:03
  • I don't need the chapter titles to name the character. And honestly I am fine with any level of interaction. So long as the focus can be said to shift. It is easiest to say that I am definately looking for 3rd person subjective, but I'ld also be fine with 3rd person omnisient if the focus changed (e.g. Lord of the Rings) Feb 6, 2018 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


This may be a question that the human brain answers really quick, and a computational approach way longer to design. Why not "crowdsource" by posting on some literary/book forums (e.g. https://www.reddit.com/r/books/)? And then select those in the public domain or CC...

Here's some results that have lists of potentially matching books, although most will not be in the public domain or CC and not all will be 3rd person POV.


Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper

Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying

Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible

Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club

Kathryn Stockett’s The Help

George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series

from the comments

Little Altars Everywhere by Rebecca Wells

Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows

Another page


Seedfolk, by Paul Fleischman

Donna Jo Napoli’s Zel

Another page


Tom Leveen's Party

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