The Public Domain Review

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Eastern Sports and Western Bodies: The “Indian Club” in the United States

Wednesday 1 April 2020 at 13:42

Although largely forgotten today, exercise by club swinging was all the rage in the 19th century. Daniel Elkind explores the rise of the phenomenon in the US, and how such efforts to keep trim and build muscle were inextricably entwined with the history of colonialism, immigration, and capitalist culture.


Announcing the PDR Colouring Book! Free to Download and Print Off at Home

Tuesday 31 March 2020 at 18:03

We made you a colouring book to help you through these strange times, featuring works by Hokusai, Albrecht Dürer, Virginia Frances Sterrett, and Aubrey Beardsley.


Coronavirus Update

Monday 30 March 2020 at 17:02

Quick update as to how the coronavirus crisis is impacting The Public Domain Review.


London's Dreadful Visitation: A Year of Weekly Death Statistics during the Great Plague (1665)

Thursday 26 March 2020 at 10:25

Bills of mortality for the year 1665 in London, recording the number of plague dead, as well as other causes of mortality.


Richard Deakin’s Flora of the Colosseum of Rome (1855)

Tuesday 24 March 2020 at 08:11

A thoroughly romantic amateur English botanist’s catalogue of more than 400 plants and flowers that once grew in profusion on the Roman Colosseum.


Plague Doctor Costumes

Tuesday 17 March 2020 at 11:34

Depictions of plague doctors in the bird mask and floor-length cloak first developed in France during the early 17th century.


Comic Gold: The Easterner Goes West in Three Early American Comics

Thursday 12 March 2020 at 11:05

The California Gold Rush transformed the landscape and population of the United States. It also introduced a new figure into American life and the American imagination — the effete Eastern urbanite who travels to the Wild West in quest of his fortune. Alex Andriesse examines how this figure fares in three mid-nineteenth-century comic books.


Anecdotes of Painters, Engravers, Sculptors and Architects, and Curiosities of Art (1853)

Tuesday 10 March 2020 at 07:21

Three volumes of anecdotes about painters and other artists collected by an enterprising American dentist, author, and connoisseur of the arts.


Coughs, Sneezes, and Jet-Propelled Germs: Two Public Service Films by Richard Massingham (1945)

Thursday 5 March 2020 at 08:24

Two PSA films featuring the multi-talented director, actor, doctor, and hypochondriac Richard Massingham.


Edouard Joseph d’Alton's Illustrations of Animal Skeletons (1821–1838)

Wednesday 4 March 2020 at 11:29

Meticulous illustrations from an atlas of animal bones, including those of the tiny squirrel and the tall giraffe, the domesticated camel and the extinct giant ground sloth.