The Public Domain Review

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

Decoding the Morse: The History of 16th-Century Narcoleptic Walruses

Wednesday 14 June 2017 at 17:54

Amongst the assorted curiosities described in Olaus Magnus' 1555 tome on Nordic life was the morse — a hirsuite, fearsome, walrus-like beast, that was said to snooze upon cliffs while hanging by its teeth. Natalie Lawrence explores the career of this chimerical wonder, shaped both by scholarly images of a fabulous north and the grisly corporeality of the trade in walrus skins, teeth, and bone.


Eighteen Hundred and Eleven (1812)

Tuesday 13 June 2017 at 18:46

Anna Laetitia Barbauld's controversial poem which presciently imagines a future Britain in ruin, eclipsed by the rising might of America.


Geographical Fun: Being Humourous Outlines of Various Countries (1868)

Tuesday 6 June 2017 at 19:48

Series of fantastic anthropomorphic maps of European countries, each footnoted by a witty quatrain, was produced by London publisher Hodder and Stoughton in the 1860s.


The Flower of Battle: Italian Fighting Manual (ca. 1410)

Thursday 1 June 2017 at 18:39

15th-century how-to guide in the art of combat, including unarmed, with daggers, swords, poleaxes and on horseback.


Gustav Wunderwald’s Paintings of Weimar Berlin

Wednesday 31 May 2017 at 16:43

The Berlin of the 1920s is often associated with a certain image of excess and decadence, but it was a quite different side of the city — the sobriety and desolation of its industrial and working-class districts — which came to obsess the painter Gustav Wunderwald. Mark Hobbs explores.


Book of French Textile Samples (1863)

Tuesday 30 May 2017 at 18:37

This delightful book features a collection of nineteenth-century textile samples — in the form of watercolour copies — from the Robert Maison company.


Photographs of Sea Stars (1917)

Wednesday 24 May 2017 at 19:12

Strangely alluring images from a report by German zoologist Ludwig Heinrich Philipp Döderlein on starfish collected during the Siboga Expedition around Indonesia.


Public and Private Life of Animals (1877)

Tuesday 23 May 2017 at 19:04

Collection of acerbic animal fables, penned by the likes of Honoré de Balzac and George Sand, and illustrated by the brilliant J. J. Grandville.


Growing Things: A Film Lesson in “Nature Study” (1928)

Thursday 18 May 2017 at 17:05

Gardening lessons from the late 1920s, centreing on the cultivation of beans, including some wonderful time-lapse footage and inter-titles to match.


Stuffed Ox, Dummy Tree, Artificial Rock: Deception in the Work of Richard and Cherry Kearton

Wednesday 17 May 2017 at 17:54

John Bevis explores the various feats of cunning and subterfuge undertaken by the Kearton brothers — among the very first professional wildlife photographers — in their pioneering attempts to get ever closer to their subjects.