The Public Domain Review

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The Holkham Bible Picture Book (ca. 1330)

Thursday 20 January 2022 at 09:34

This "Bible" selectively illustrates the Old and New Testaments, taking us from Genesis to Revelation in a series of 231 beautifully executed miniatures.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/holkham-bible


Resurrection on Repeat: *Rules and Orders of the Humane Society* (1787)

Wednesday 19 January 2022 at 07:44

The pamphlet documents thirteen years of success since the 1774 establishment of Britain’s Humane Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Dead by Drowning.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/humane-society


Beastly Clues: T. S. Eliot, Torquemada, and the Modernist Crossword

Wednesday 12 January 2022 at 11:06

Just a few years after The Waste Land appeared — a poem whose difficulty critics compared to some “pompous cross-word puzzle” — Edward Powys Mathers (alias: Torquemada) pioneered the cryptic: a puzzle form that, like modernist poetry, unwove language and rewove it anew. Roddy Howland Jackson reveals the pleasures and imaginative creatures lurking in Torquemada's lively grids.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/beastly-clues


Reciting Pictures: Buddhist Texts for the Illiterate

Wednesday 12 January 2022 at 11:05

Some Japanese texts use a rebus-style script for teaching the illiterate to recite the Heart Sūtra, and other sacred texts, in Chinese.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/buddhist-texts-for-the-illiterate


Between Frogs and Gods: Illustrations of Physiognomy

Thursday 6 January 2022 at 11:11

Images of a frog metamorphing into Apollo illustrating Johann Kaspar Lavater's theories of physiognomy.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/frogs-to-apollo


Gustave Zander and the 19th-Century Gym

Tuesday 4 January 2022 at 07:34

Modern fitness culture finds its origins in 19th-century Stockholm, where Dr. Zander invented precursors to today's gym equipment.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/zander-gym


Happy Public Domain Day 2022!

Saturday 1 January 2022 at 13:26

Each January 1st is Public Domain Day, where a new crop of works have their copyrights expire and become free to enjoy, share, and reuse for any purpose.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/blog/2022/01/public-domain-day-2022


Top 10 Most Read Pieces from 2021

Monday 27 December 2021 at 22:11

From Alice's Wonderland to Japanese fireworks, a rundown of the ten most read pieces we published this year.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/blog/2021/12/top-10-most-read-pieces-from-2021


Little Switzerlands: Alpine Kitsch in England

Wednesday 8 December 2021 at 13:05

Far from the treacherous peaks and ravines of Switzerland, Alpine cottages arose, unexpectedly, amid the hillocks and modest streams of 19th-century England. Seán Williams recovers the peculiar fad for “Little Switzerlands”, where the Romantic sublime meets countryside kitsch.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/little-switzerlands-alpine-kitsch-in-england


Snowball Fights in Art (1400–1946)

Wednesday 8 December 2021 at 12:46

What’s wondrous about browsing the images of snowball fights gathered here is how little changes across centuries and continents.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/snowball-fights