The Public Domain Review

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

Micromégas by Voltaire (1752)

Tuesday 11 July 2017 at 19:18

Early sci-fi short story by Voltaire recounting a visit to Earth by Micromégas, an inhabitant of a distant planet which circles the star Sirius, and his companion hailing from Saturn.


The Concealed Erotic Paintings of Sommonte (19th Century)

Thursday 6 July 2017 at 17:53

A wonderfully unique object, at first glance merely a painting of roses, but with hidden erotic scenes beneath.


Lover of the Strange, Sympathizer of the Rude, Barbarianologist of the Farthest Peripheries

Wednesday 5 July 2017 at 18:04

CONJECTURES #5 — Winnie Wong brings us a short biography of the Chinese curioso Pan Youxun (1745-1780). At issue? Hubris, hegemony, and global art history.


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.