The Public Domain Review

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The Long, Forgotten Walk of David Ingram

Wednesday 28 June 2017 at 18:54

If three shipwrecked English sailors really did travel by foot from Florida to Nova Scotia in 1569 then it would certainly count as one of the most remarkable walks undertaken in recorded history. Although the account's more fantastical elements, such as the sighting of elephants, have spurred many to consign it to the fiction department, John Toohey argues for a second look.


The Hawaiian Quintette (1913)

Tuesday 27 June 2017 at 22:29

Selection of tracks recorded by the Hawaiian Quintette for Victor in 1913, series of recordings which went a long way toward establishing Hawaiian music as a significant genre on mainland US.


Ha Bun Shu: a Japanese Book of Wave and Ripple Designs (1919)

Thursday 22 June 2017 at 11:00

Wonderful selection of wave and ripple designs produced by the Japanese artist Mori Yuzan, which would have found their way onto swords and associated paraphernalia, as well as lacquerware, Netsuke, religious objects, and a host of other items.


Alexander Graham Bell’s Tetrahedral Kites (1903–9)

Monday 19 June 2017 at 13:46

The wonderful imagery documenting Alexander Graham Bell's experiments with tetrahedral kites.


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.