The Public Domain Review

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Eating and Reading with Katherine Mansfield

Monday 9 January 2023 at 09:53

Like fast food and snacks, the short story has been derided as minor cuisine, ephemeral and insubstantial, light fare compared to the novel’s sustenance. For Katherine Mansfield, a great master of the form, eating offered a model for the sensuous consumption of her fiction — stories, in turn, that are filled with scenes of alimentary pleasure. On the centenary of the New Zealand writer’s death, Aimée Gasston samples her appetites.


The Book of Bread (1903)

Thursday 5 January 2023 at 11:37

This reference manual for commercial bakeries includes striking pasted-in silver bromide prints and dazzling chromolithographs of bread.


The Procession of the Months (ca. 1889)

Tuesday 3 January 2023 at 08:07

Created sometime around 1889 by Beatrice and Walter Crane, this illustrated series of poems personifies the months of the year as women.


Happy Public Domain Day 2023!

Sunday 1 January 2023 at 14:30

Each January 1st is Public Domain Day, where a new crop of works have their copyrights expire and become free to enjoy, share, and reuse for any purpose.


Top 10 Most Read Pieces from 2022

Wednesday 28 December 2022 at 12:06

From a 1904 study of queer Berlin to the mysteries of a hole-punched archive, a rundown of the ten most read pieces we published this year.


Introducing the PDR Index

Tuesday 13 December 2022 at 12:59

We've made an index for the site, to track chance resonances, collect accidental symmetries, and chart themes that only become visible on an indexical scale.


Ellen Harding Baker's “Solar System” Quilt (1876–ca. 1883)

Wednesday 7 December 2022 at 11:26

Working as an astronomy teacher in Lone Tree, Iowa, Ellen Harding Baker quilted this magnificent representation of the cosmos for her students.


In Search of True Color: Sergei Prokudin-Gorsky’s Flawed Images

Wednesday 7 December 2022 at 10:40

Archived amid Prokudin-Gorsky’s vast photographic survey of the Russian Empire, we find images shot through with starshatter cracks, blebbed with mildew, and blurred by motion. Within such moments of unmaking, Erica X Eisen uncovers the overlapping forces at play behind these pioneering efforts in colour photography.


Mighty Mikko: A Book of Finnish Fairy Tales and Folk Tales (1922)

Tuesday 6 December 2022 at 10:37

Mighty Mikko contains twelve stories loosely based on Finnish tales, illustrated with vibrant block prints by Jay Van Everen.


Concrete Poetry: Thomas Edison and the Almost-Built World

Thursday 1 December 2022 at 07:00

The architect and historian Anthony Acciavatti uses a real (but mostly forgotten) patent to conjure a world that could have been.