The Public Domain Review

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

Woodcuts and Witches

Thursday 4 May 2017 at 15:30

Jon Crabb on the witch-craze of Early Modern Europe, and how the concurrent rise of the mass-produced woodcut helped forge the archetype of the broom-riding crone — complete with cauldron and cats — so familiar today.


The Burning Stable (1896)

Thursday 27 April 2017 at 19:12

A remarkable short, most likely staged, showing a stable on fire with horses being rescued and humans fleeing.


The Elizabeths: Elemental Historians

Wednesday 26 April 2017 at 19:25

CONJECTURES #4 — Carla Nappi conjures a dreamscape from four archival fragments — four oblique references to women named “Elizabeth” who lived on the watershed of the 16th-to-17th century.


Texts in Mathias Enard’s Compass

Wednesday 26 April 2017 at 16:01

Collection of the major public domain texts featuring in the novel Compass by French writer Mathias Enard — including Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Joseph-Charles Mardrus.


W. B. O’Shaughnessy and the Introduction of Cannabis to Modern Western Medicine

Wednesday 19 April 2017 at 18:57

Cataleptic trances, enormous appetites, and giggling fits aside, W. B. O'Shaughnessy's investigations at a Calcutta hospital into the potential of medical marijuana — the first such trials in modern medicine — were largely positive. Sujaan Mukherjee explores the intricacies of this pioneering research and what it can tell us more generally about the production of knowledge in colonial science.


Arcimboldo-esque Composite Portraits of Trades (ca. 1800)

Tuesday 18 April 2017 at 20:05

Lovely aquatint print depicting four composite portraits for the professions of florist, writer, musician, and barber — their features made up entirely from the tools of their trades.


The Spinning Sow (1673)

Thursday 13 April 2017 at 16:25

17th-century Dutch engraving showing a team of pigs spinning cotton, while in the corner a woman — who'd normally be associated with the work — sleeps.


Scenes from Rip Van Winkle (1903)

Wednesday 12 April 2017 at 19:40

Recording made for Colombia Records in which the legendary actor Joseph Jefferson plays the part of Rip Van Winkle.


The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)

Tuesday 11 April 2017 at 18:47

James Hogg's masterpiece — part-gothic novel, part-psychological mystery, part-metafiction, part-satire, part-case study of totalitarian thought.


Lofty Only in Sound: Crossed Wires and Community in 19th-Century Dreams

Wednesday 5 April 2017 at 18:55

Alicia Puglionesi explores a curious case of supposed dream telepathy at the end of the US Civil War, in which old ideas about the prophetic nature of dreaming collided with loss, longing, and new possibilities of communication at a distance.