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Frankenstein, the Baroness, and the Climate Refugees of 1816

Wednesday 15 June 2016 at 18:34

It is 200 years since The Year Without a Summer, when a sun-obscuring ash cloud — ejected from one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in recorded history — caused temperatures to plummet the world over. Gillen D’Arcy Wood looks at the humanitarian crisis triggered by the unusual weather, and how it offers an alternative lens through which to read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, a book begun in its midst.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2016/06/15/frankenstein-the-baroness-and-the-climate-refugees-of-1816/


Album of Seaweed Pictures (1848)

Tuesday 14 June 2016 at 13:45

Fine specimen of a 19th-century seaweed album, in which marine algae is rendered into designs, bouquets, and even sometimes intricate little scenes.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/album-of-seaweed-pictures-1848/


The Difficulty of Ruling over a Diverse Nation (1578)

Thursday 9 June 2016 at 16:52

16th-century Dutch engraving depicting a fantastical animal with the heads of various other animals sprouting from its body: an allegory for the difficulty of ruling over a diverse nation.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-difficulty-of-ruling-over-a-diverse-nation-1578/


Fables for the Frivolous (1899)

Wednesday 8 June 2016 at 18:09

One of the earliest works by the American parodist Guy Wetmore Carryl, this collection of fables are adapted from Jean de La Fontaine's Aesop-style originals from more than 200 years earlier.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/fables-for-the-frivolous-1899/


The Magic Roses (1906)

Thursday 2 June 2016 at 17:48

A film by the pioneering Spanish film director, cinematographer and screenwriter Segundo Chomón.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-magic-roses-1906/


Francis van Helmont and the Alphabet of Nature

Wednesday 1 June 2016 at 18:15

Largely forgotten today in the shadow of his more famous father, the 17th-century Flemish alchemist Francis van Helmont influenced and was friends with the likes of Locke, Boyle, and Leibniz. While imprisoned by the Inquisition, in between torture sessions, he wrote his Alphabet of Nature on the idea of a universal natural language. Je Wilson explores.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2016/06/01/francis-van-helmont-and-the-alphabet-of-nature/


The Steps of Life

Tuesday 31 May 2016 at 21:26

Selection of images illustrating on the idea that one's life can be thought of as divisible into distinct stages.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-steps-of-life/


The Legs of the Opera (ca. 1862)

Tuesday 24 May 2016 at 18:12

An unusual creation from the studio of André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri, the French photographer known for inventing the hugely popular carte de visite.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/the-legs-of-the-opera-ca-1862/


I Am The Edison Phonograph (1906)

Friday 20 May 2016 at 20:14

This somewhat unnerving recording would would have been heard at most Edison phonograph dealers in the early part of the twentieth century.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/collections/i-am-the-edison-phonograph-1906/


Copying Pictures, Evidencing Evolution

Wednesday 18 May 2016 at 15:49

Copying — unoriginal, dull, and derivative by definition — can be creative, contested, and consequential in its effects. Nick Hopwood tracks Haeckel’s embryos, some of the most controversial pictures in the history of science, and explores how copying put them among the most widely seen.

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2016/05/18/copying-pictures-evidencing-evolution/


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