The Public Domain Review

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

*Zanzibar Tales* (1901)

Friday 22 October 2021 at 09:43

Ten folktales, translated from Swahili by George W. Bateman, showcasing the rich tradition of storytelling in Zanzibar.


The Dust That Measures All Our Time

Wednesday 13 October 2021 at 12:36

From the mythical Sandman, who participates in dream and vision, to an irritating grain lodged in the beachgoer’s eye, sand harbours unappreciated power, however mundane. Steven Connor celebrates this “most untrustworthy” type of matter.


Lithographs from M. E. Descourtilz’s *Atlas des Champignons* (1827)

Tuesday 12 October 2021 at 12:09

Set of prints which sort mushrooms found in France and elsewhere into three classes: edible, suspect, and poisonous.


*The Ascent of Mont-Blanc* (ca. 1855)

Thursday 7 October 2021 at 15:57

John MacGregor’s four “views” of Mont Blanc, printed in color by George Baxter, reveal a different side of the mountain when compared to well-known Romantic depictions.


A Monster in the Heart: Edward May’s *A Most Certaine and True Relation* (1639)

Tuesday 5 October 2021 at 19:35

This 17th-century medical treatise still puzzles researchers centuries after it was written. Was it a serpent in John Pennant’s heart? Or something more mundane?


Mermaids and Tritons in the Age of Reason

Wednesday 29 September 2021 at 10:44

For much of the eighteenth century, Western intellectuals chased after tritons and mermaids. Vaughn Scribner follows the hunt, revealing how humanity’s supposed aquatic ancestors became wondrous screens on which to project theories of geographical, racial, and taxonomical difference.


Adolf Schmidt’s *Atlas der Diatomaceenkunde* (1890)

Wednesday 29 September 2021 at 07:57

A 19th-century catalogue dedicated to showcasing diatoms (a type of unicellular microalgae) in all their intricate glory.


A Modest Apology for the Man in the Bottle (1749)

Monday 27 September 2021 at 13:58

A confession from the supposed man who caused a riot at the Haymarket Theatre in 1749, when he failed to shrink himself and crawl inside of a bottle.


The Human Voice (1921)

Tuesday 21 September 2021 at 13:37

Educational film from Bray studios all about that “marvellous sound producing instrument, the voice box”.


Circassian Beauty in the American Sideshow

Thursday 16 September 2021 at 12:07

Among the “human curiosities” in P. T. Barnum’s American Museum was a supposed escapee from an Ottoman harem, a figure marketed as both the pinnacle of white beauty and an exoticised other. Betsy Golden Kellem investigates the complex of racial and cultural stereotypes that made the Circassian beauty such a sideshow spectacle.