The Public Domain Review

This is just an automatic copy of Public Domain Review blog.

The Orkney Finnmen Legends: From Early Modern Science to Modern Myth

Wednesday 11 November 2020 at 12:55

At the end of the 17th century there appeared the first noting of a mysterious kayak-paddling “Finnman” seen in Orkney waters. Jonathan Westaway explores the subsequent explanations and how early modern science's fascination with unfamiliar objects, and the “out-of-place” in general, helped conjure the idea of an Inuit presence in the region and, in turn, a new chapter of Scottish folklore.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/the-orkney-finnmen-legends


The Reverse of a Framed Painting, and Other Trompe L'oeil by Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts (ca. 1670)

Thursday 5 November 2020 at 07:57

On one of the most striking and intriguing creations by a Flemish master of trompe l’oeil paintings.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/reverse-of-a-framed-painting


The Sorceress by Jan van de Velde II (1626)

Thursday 29 October 2020 at 12:35

Remarkable engraving of a sorceress mid-conjure, with a motley crew of demonic figures.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/the-sorceress-jan-van-de-velde


George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Thursday 29 October 2020 at 12:35

Introducing the historical zombie, situating it in current academic discourses, and considering the cultural moment of the film’s release.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/night-of-the-living-dead


Why Women Should Not Vote (1917)

Tuesday 27 October 2020 at 13:35

A humorous 1917 blank notebook invites consideration of the fight for women’s suffrage in the USA.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/why-women-should-not-vote


The Uncertain Heavens: Christiaan Huygens’ Ideas of Extraterrestrial Life

Wednesday 21 October 2020 at 13:03

During the 17th century, as knowledge of the Universe and its contents increased, so did speculation about life on other planets. One such source, as Hugh Aldersey-Williams explores, was Dutch astronomer, mathematician, and inventor Christiaan Huygens, whose earlier work on probability paved the way for his very modern evaluation of what alien life might look like.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/the-uncertain-heavens


Sadakichi Hartmann’s Conversations with Walt Whitman (1895)

Wednesday 21 October 2020 at 08:46

Short pamphlet of conversations with Whitman in his last years by the art critic and poet Sadakichi Hartmann.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/sadakichi-hartmann-conversations-with-walt-whitman


The Tours of Dr Syntax (1809–1821)

Tuesday 20 October 2020 at 08:16

Three books combining pictures and verse about an Anglican cleric in search of the perfectly picturesque.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/dr-syntax


Filippo Buonanni's Harmonic Cabinet (1722)

Tuesday 13 October 2020 at 10:32

Engravings from an ambitious and beautiful attempt to catalogue, for the first time, the musical instruments of the world.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/collection/filippo-buonanni-harmonic-cabinet


Fungi, Folklore, and Fairyland

Wednesday 7 October 2020 at 13:12

From fairy-rings to Lewis Carroll's Alice, mushrooms have long been entwined with the supernatural in art and literature. What might this say about past knowledge of hallucinogenic fungi? Mike Jay looks at early reports of mushroom-induced trips and how one species in particular became established as a stock motif of Victorian fairyland.

Source: https://publicdomainreview.org/essay/fungi-folklore-and-fairyland