The Public Domain Review

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Tanglewood Tales, illustrated by Virginia Frances Sterrett (1921)

Tuesday 20 March 2018 at 17:46

Beautiful 1920s edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's version of Greek myths for children, with illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett.


The Drolatic Dreams of Pantagruel (1565)

Thursday 15 March 2018 at 17:17

Highlights from a book of 120 woodcuts depicting a series of fantastically bizarre and grotesque figures, reminiscent of some of the more inventive and twisted creations of Brueghel or Bosch.


Napoleon’s “Englich” Lessons

Wednesday 14 March 2018 at 16:25

While imprisoned on St Helena, Napoleon started learning English. One resident of the island called his English “the oddest in the world.”


“Alas, Poor YORICK!”: The Death and Life of Laurence Sterne

Wednesday 7 March 2018 at 17:30

On the 250th anniversary of Laurence Sterne's death, Ian Campbell Ross looks at the engagement with mortality so important to the novelist's groundbreaking work.


Drawings of Tetradons and Diodons (ca. 1838–42)

Tuesday 6 March 2018 at 18:44

Wonderful drawings of balloonfishes and pufferfishes made during, or shortly after, the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842.


Adeline Harris Sears’ Autographs Quilt (1856–ca.1863)

Thursday 1 March 2018 at 17:49

Wonderful trompe l'oeil tumbling block design quilt incorporating signatures from such luminaries as Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rembrandt Peale, and Abraham Lincoln (one of eight American presidents represented).


First English Edition of Michel de Montaigne’s Essays (1603)

Wednesday 28 February 2018 at 15:19

John Florio's translation of Michel de Montaigne's genre-forming Essays, including thoughts on grief, friendship, drunkenness, impotence, smells, death, and thumbs.


Darwin’s Polar Bear

Wednesday 21 February 2018 at 18:17

Musings upon the whys and wherefores of polar bears, particularly in relation to their forest-dwelling cousins, played an important but often overlooked role in the development of evolutionary theory. Michael Engelhard explores.


Autographs for Freedom (1853)

Tuesday 20 February 2018 at 17:24

Anthology of anti-slavery literature featuring abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass’s only published work of fiction.


Steam-Powered Tooth Extraction on an Envelope (1894)

Saturday 17 February 2018 at 13:46

This wonderful sketch of “teeth painlessly extracted by steam power” appears on an envelope addressed to a certain Dr J. Chapman of Totton, Southampton. As to whether he is the creator of the drawing also (or indeed someone in his household), the jury is out — though the idea that the envelope made its way […]