The Public Domain Review

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

The Surreal Art of Alchemical Diagrams

Tuesday 2 August 2016 at 19:10

The varied tradition of alchemy has given birth to a whole host of strange and wondrous imagery over the centuries. Here we pick out some favourites.


A Vision of Isolating Technology from 1906

Wednesday 27 July 2016 at 18:24

Punch magazine's vision of the smartphone zombie from 1906.


A Traveler from Altruria (1894)

Tuesday 26 July 2016 at 19:03

Utopian fiction delivering a vision of a one-class socialist utopia while at once offering a biting critique of unfettered capitalism.


“For the Sake of the Prospect”: Experiencing the World from Above in the Late 18th Century

Wednesday 20 July 2016 at 17:37

The first essay in a two-part series in which Lily Ford explores how balloon flight transformed our ideas of landscape. We begin with a look at the unique set of images included in Thomas Baldwin's Airopaidia (1786) — the first real overhead aerial views.


The Singerie: Monkeys acting as Humans in Art

Tuesday 19 July 2016 at 19:45

Examples of Singerie, from the French for Monkey Trick, a genre of art in which monkeys are depicted aping human behaviour.


To New Horizons (1940)

Thursday 14 July 2016 at 17:08

A vision of the future from General Motors created to champion their "Highways and Horizons" exhibit at the 1939-40 New York World's Fair.


My Experiences in a Lunatic Asylum (1879)

Wednesday 13 July 2016 at 17:25

An account of being confined in Ticehurst, a private asylum in Victorian Britain, by the author Herman Charles Merivale.


The Secret History of Holywell Street: Home to Victorian London’s Dirty Book Trade

Wednesday 29 June 2016 at 16:51

Victorian sexuality is often considered synonymous with prudishness, conjuring images of covered up piano legs and dark ankle-length skirts. Historian Matthew Green uncovers a quite different scene in the sordid story of Holywell St, 19th-century London's epicentre of erotica and smut.


Marvels of Things Created and Miraculous Aspects of Things Existing

Tuesday 28 June 2016 at 17:48

Images from an exquisitely illustrated Persian translation, thought to hail from 17th-century Mughal India, of Zakariya al-Qazwini's medieval treatise on all things wondrous.


Guess Me (1879)

Wednesday 22 June 2016 at 12:50

Illustrated by George Cruikshank among others, a collection of word, number, and picture puzzles in the form of enigmas, conundrums, acrostics, and a series of incredibly tricky rebuses.