The Public Domain Review

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The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Friday 21 December 2012 at 13:57

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are described by John of Patmos in his Book of Revelations, the last book of the New Testament. The chapter tells of a “‘book’, or ‘scroll’, in God’s right hand that is sealed with seven seals”. The Lamb of God, or Lion of Judah, (Jesus Christ) opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons forth four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses. Although some interpretations differ, in most accounts, the four riders are seen as symbolizing Conquest, War, Famine, and Death, respectively. The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the four horsemen are to set a divine apocalypse upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment. The White Horse I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come and see!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest. ( Revelation 6:1-2) The Red Horse When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/21/the-four-horsemen-of-the-apocalypse/


The Forgotten Tales of the Brothers Grimm

Thursday 20 December 2012 at 16:48

To mark the 200th year since the Brothers Grimm first published their Kinder-und Hausmärchen, Jack Zipes explores the importance of this neglected first edition and what it tells us about the motives and passions of the two folklorist brothers. The greatest irony of the numerous world-wide celebrations held this year to honor the 200th anniversary of the first edition of the Grimms’ Kinder-und Hausmärchen, published in two volumes in 1812 and 1815, involves the discovery that most people really don’t know the original Grimms’ tales or much about their lives. That is, most people have no clue that the Grimms’ first edition of 1812/15 is totally unlike the final or so-called definitive edition of 1857, that they published seven different editions from 1812 to 1857, and that they made vast changes in the contents and style of their collections and also altered their concept of folk and fairy tales in the process. Even so-called scholars of German literature and experts of the Grimms’ tales are not aware of how little most people, including themselves, know about the first edition, and ironically it is their and our “ignorance” that makes the rediscovery of the tales in the first edition so exciting [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/20/the-forgotten-tales-of-the-brothers-grimm/


Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Tuesday 18 December 2012 at 18:00

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a 1964 science fiction film that regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made. It is regularly featured in the “bottom 100″ list on the Internet Movie Database, and was featured in an episode of the 1986 syndicated series, the Canned Film Festival. It was directed by Nicholas Webster, and it stars John Call as Santa Claus. It also includes an 8-year-old Pia Zadora playing the role of one of the Martian children. The film took on newfound fame in the 1990s after being featured on an episode of the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000. It became a holiday staple on the Comedy Central cable channel in the years following its 1991 premiere. It has since found new life again in the 2000s having been riffed by Cinematic Titanic. The movie was also featured on the current run of “Elvira’s Movie Macabre.” The plot? In a bid to make disgruntled Martian children happier, Martians kidnap Santa from Earth… (Wikipedia) Download from Internet Archive Note this film is in the public domain in the US, but may not be in other jurisdictions. Please check its status in your jurisdiction before re-using. Sign [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/18/santa-clause-conquers-the-martians-1964/


Diary Days from Christmas Past

Tuesday 18 December 2012 at 16:48

With December 25th fast approaching we have put together a little collection of entries for Christmas Day from an eclectic mix of different diaries spanning five centuries, from 1599 to 1918. Amid famed diarists such as the wife-beating Samuel Pepys, the distinctly non-festive John Adams, and the rhapsodic Thoreau, there are a sprinkling of daily jottings from relative unknowns – many speaking apart from loved ones, at war, sea or in foreign climes. All diaries are housed at the Internet Archive – click the link below each extract to take you to the source. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/18/diary-days-from-christmas-past/


A Pictorial History of Santa Claus

Thursday 13 December 2012 at 17:24

Contrary to what many believe, Santa Claus as we know him today – sleigh riding, gift-giving, rotund and white bearded with his distinctive red suit trimmed with white fur – was not the creation of the Coca Cola Company. Although their Christmas advertising campaigns of the 1930s and 40s were key to popularising the image, Santa can be seen in his modern form decades before Coca Cola’s illustrator Haddon Sundblom got to work. Prior to settling on his famed red garb and jolly bearded countenance, throughout the latter half of the 19th century, Santa morphed through a variety of different looks. From the description given in Clement Moore’s A Visit from St Nicholas in 1822, through the vision of artist Thomas Nast, and later Norman Rockwell, Mr Claus gradually shed his various guises and became the jolly red-suited Santa we know today. Below we’ve put together a little pictorial guide showing his evolvement through the ages. 13TH CENTURY The name Santa Claus has his roots in the informal Dutch name for St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas (an abbreviation of Sint Nikolaas). St. Nicholas was a historic 4th-century Greek saint (from an area now in modern day Turkey) who had a reputation for [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/13/a-pictorial-history-of-santa-claus/


Twelve Twelve Twelve

Wednesday 12 December 2012 at 15:23

To celebrate the most auspicious occasion of it being the 12th day of the 12th month of the 12th year, i.e. 12/12/12, we’ve put together a little collection of twelve pictures of people in groups of twelve. Through a mix of paintings and photographs we travel all over the world, from Central Java in Indonesia to very northern Sweden, from south-eastern Russia to the palace of Archduke Leopold Salvador of Austria. All images sourced from the very handy Wikimedia Commons category “Group portraits with 12 persons”. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/12/twelve-twelve-twelve/


Class of 2013

Tuesday 11 December 2012 at 17:37

Top Row (left to right): Stefan Zweig; Bronislaw Malinowski; Francis Younghusband Middle Row (left to right): L.M. Montgomery; A.E.Waite; Edith Stein; Robert Musil Bottom Row (left to right): Grant Wood; Bruno Schulz; Franz Boas; Eric Ravilious Pictured above is our top pick of artists and writers whose works will, on 1st January 2013, be entering the public domain in those countries with a ‘life plus 70 years’ copyright term (e.g. most European Union members, Brazil, Israel, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, etc.). An eclectic bunch have assembled for our graduation photo – including the two founding fathers of anthropology from different sides of the Atlantic, an Army officer turned “premature hippy”, the painter of one of America’s most iconic images, and a canonised Catholic saint who studied with Martin Heidegger. The unifying factor bringing them all together is that all died in the year of 1942, many sadly as a result, directly or indirectly, of the Second World War. Below is a little bit more about each of their lives (with each name linking through to their respective Wikipedia pages, if you would like to find out more). In the new year, when their works shall enter the public domain, links to [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/11/class-of-2013/


Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost (1901)

Monday 10 December 2012 at 17:37

Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost, directed by Walter R. Booth, is the oldest known film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel A Christmas Carol – featuring the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge confronted by Marley’s ghost and given by visions of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The film, “although somewhat flat and stage-bound to modern eyes,” according to Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline, “was an ambitious undertaking at the time,” as, “not only did it attempt to tell an 80 page story in five minutes, but it featured impressive trick effects, superimposing Marley’s face over the door knocker and the scenes from his youth over a black curtain in Scrooge’s bedroom.” It was presented in ‘Twelve Tableaux’ or scenes and is thought to contain the first ever use of intertitles in a film. (Wikipedia) Download from Internet Archive Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/10/scrooge-or-marleys-ghost-1901/


Illustrations from a Chapbook on Robinson Crusoe (ca.1800)

Friday 7 December 2012 at 18:23

Illustrations from a chapbook entitled The Surprising Life and most Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe Of the City of York, Mariner (ca.1800) as featured in John Ashton’s Chap-books of the Eighteenth Century (1882). (All images taken from the Chap-books of the eighteenth century, with facsimiles, notes, and introduction by John Ashton (1882) housed at the Internet Archive, donated by University of Pittsburgh Library System). Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/07/illustrations-from-a-chapbook-on-robinson-crusoe-ca-1800/


Prison diary of Michael Dougherty (1908)

Thursday 6 December 2012 at 18:28

Prison diary of Michael Dougherty, late Co. B, 13th., Pa., cavalry. While confined in Pemberton, Barrett’s, Libby, Andersonville and other southern prisons. Sole survivor of 127 of his regiment captured the same time, 122 dying in Andersonville, by C. A. Dougherty; 1908; Bristol, Pennsylvania. The diary of Michael Dougherty, a young Irish soldier in the American Civil War, kept while imprisoned in various Confederate prison camps. As Dougherty notes, in 1863 “At 5 p.m. we were overpowered, cut off from the division and 127 of our regiment, among whom was your humble servant, were compelled to surrender.” For the next 23 months moving from camp to camp Dougherty kept his secret diary noting down his experiences of daily life. Of the 127 Union soldiers taken prisoner with him, he was the sole survivor, with nearly all of them perishing at the hands of commander Captain Wirz in the notorious Andersonville, Georgia prison. Dougherty’s descriptions of the appalling conditions at Andersonville are amongst the most harrowing in the book. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the Library of Congress. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/06/prison-diary-of-michael-dougherty-1908/