The Public Domain Review

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

Chromatic Aberrations: The Toll of the Sea (1922)

Tuesday 21 May 2024 at 17:30

Hollywood's first natural-color feature film and the breakout role for Anna May Wong, considered the first Chinese American movie star.


Same as It Ever Was?: Eternal Recurrence in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

Wednesday 15 May 2024 at 15:27

While Friedrich Nietzsche popularised the notion of an “eternal return” — in which one’s life would occur again, forever, exactly as it did before — the concept was itself a repetition. Claire Hall explores various shades of this idea in ancient philosophy, from Pythagorean metempsychosis to Stoic predictions about a cosmological reset.


Love Spells and Deadly Shrieks: Illustrations of Mandrakes (ca. 650–1927)

Tuesday 14 May 2024 at 17:41

More than 70 images of the magical, hallucinogenic, and perilous mandrake.


The Gilded Gallows of Georg Honauer (1597)

Wednesday 8 May 2024 at 19:30

A broadside illustration depicting the execution of an alchemist, hanged upon a gallows made from the very object of his crime.


The Little Journal of Rejects (1896)

Tuesday 7 May 2024 at 18:48

A literary magazine whose criterion for acceptance was simple: each piece had to have been previously rejected.


Professor Megalow’s Dinosaur Bones: Richard Owen and Victorian Literature

Thursday 2 May 2024 at 14:42

Richard Owen, the Victorian scientist who first named the “dinosaurs”, claimed that he could identify an animal, even an extinct one, from inspecting a single bone. Richard Fallon revisits other Owen-inspired fictions — by R. D. Blackmore, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Charles Kingsley — and finds literature layered with scientific, religious, and political interventions, spurred by the discovery of prehistoric life.


Mayday, Mayday: Capital and Labor (1907)

Wednesday 1 May 2024 at 17:43

A treatise on the challenges facing workers — and potential solutions — that advocates socialism at the turn of the 20th century.


Photographs of Life in Palestine (ca. 1896–1919)

Tuesday 30 April 2024 at 17:17

Stereographs depicting daily life in Palestine before the British Mandate.


Maria Catharina Prestel’s Printed Cabinet of Drawings (ca. 1780s)

Wednesday 24 April 2024 at 15:36

Aquatint engravings that were employed to reproduce the tonal subtleties of drawings.


Pseudo-Boccaccio, Yiddish Pulp Fiction, and the Man Who Ripped Off Joyce

Wednesday 17 April 2024 at 18:54

In 1927, a pair of lurid “translations” appeared in English, marketed as authentic tales by Giovanni Boccaccio and illustrated with supposedly new works by Aubrey Beardsley. Jonah Lubin and Maria Laurids Lazzarotti search for the origin of these fakes, in which illicit sex begets terrible violence, and uncover a story involving pseudotranslation, Yiddish shund literature, and the piracy king of literary modernism, Samuel Roth.