The Public Domain Review

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

Vaught’s Practical Character Reader (1902)

Tuesday 19 March 2013 at 16:17

Vaught’s Practical Character Reader, by L. A. Vaught; 1902; L. A. Vaught, Chicago. A book on phrenology by L. A. Vaught published in 1902, jam-packed with strange theory and a whole host of strange illustrations. As he confidently states in his Preface: The purpose of this book is to acquaint all with the elements of human nature and enable them to read these elements in all men, women and children in all countries. At least fifty thousand careful examinations have been made to prove the truthfulness of the nature and location of these elements. More than a million observations have been made to confirm the examinations. Therefore, it is given the world to be depended upon. Taken in its entirety it is absolutely reliable. Its facts can be completely demonstrated by all who will take the unprejudiced pains to do so. It is ready for use. It is practical. Use it. The theory that one can ascertain a person’s character by the shape of their features is disturbing to say the least. You can see a selection of the book’s images over in our post in the Images collection. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/19/vaughts-practical-character-reader-1902/


Medical Imagery of the 15th Century

Wednesday 13 March 2013 at 18:22

The following images are all taken from Tradition und Naturbeobachtung in den Illustrationen Medizinischer Handschriften und Frühdrucke vornehmlich des 15. Jahrhunderts (1907) by Karl Sudhoff – a book on the topic of medical illustrations in manuscripts and early printed books (primarily) of the 15th century. Included amongst the depictions are a few of the Zodiac Man (or homo signorum), a common figure in late medieval depictions of the body who had every part of his body linked with an astrological sign. See the book to learn from where each image has been sourced by Sudhoff, and if you speak German, to learn more about them. (The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the University of Toronto). DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER 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 [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/13/medical-imagery-of-the-15th-century/


On the Writing of the Insane (1870)

Tuesday 12 March 2013 at 16:27

On the Writing of the Insane, with illustrations, by G. Mackenzie Bacon, M.D.; 1870; John Churchill and Sons, London. A book of observations on the peculiarities of writing styles as shown by asylum patients. G. Mackenzie Bacon was a medical superintendant at Cambridgshire County Asylum (now Fulbourn Hospital) located near Cambridge, England. As well as the fascinating images, the book also gives a series of transcribed excerpts. See also our images post “The Diagrammatic Writings of an Asylum Patient” which shows two of the most striking images from the book. The book is housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine via the Medical Heritage Library. Hat-tip to Pinterest user Marisela Norte. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER 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 [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/12/on-the-writing-of-the-insane-1870/


The Diagrammatic Writings of an Asylum Patient (1870)

Tuesday 12 March 2013 at 16:05

These two images are from the book On the Writing of the Insane (1870) by G. Mackenzie Bacon, medical superintendant at an asylum (now Fulbourn Hospital) located near Cambridge, England. The pictures are the product of a “respectable artisan of considerable intelligence [who] was sent to the Cambridgeshire Asylum after being nearly three years in a melancholy mood”. Bacon describes how the unnamed patient, for the two years he was committed, spent “much of his time writing — sometimes verses, at others long letters of the most rambling character, and in drawing extraordinary diagrams.” The two images shown here were drawn on both sides of the same small half sheet of paper, and the patient, “as though anxious, in the exuberance of his fancy, to make the fullest use of his opportunities, [...] filled up every morsel of the surface — to the very edge — not leaving an atom of margin.” Bacon goes on to explain that the man, after leaving the asylum, went “to work at his trade, and, by steady application, succeeded in arriving at a certain degree of prosperity, but some two or three years later he began to write very strangely again, and had some [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/12/the-diagrammatic-writings-of-an-asylum-patient-1870/


A book on 17th century gardens (1908)

Monday 11 March 2013 at 15:41

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/11/a-book-on-17th-century-gardens-1908/


George Méliès’ Temptation of St. Anthony (1898)

Friday 8 March 2013 at 17:43

George Méliès’ short retelling of the temptation of Saint Anthony (La tentation de Saint-Antoine), with the temptations taking the form of the unexpected and persistent appearance of various scantily clad women. Although not as technically epic as his earlier masterpieces it nonetheless marks an advance in terms of subject matter, being one of the earliest films to tackle an explicitly religious theme. In this respect, as Film Journal comments, “Méliès proves himself the ancestor of Cecil B. DeMille and Franco Zeffirelli, whose own religious epics offer a similar blend of the solemn and the kitschy”. The supernatural temptations reportedly faced by Saint Anthony during his sojourn in the Egyptian desert, have been an often-repeated subject in the history of art and literature. Colin Dickey’s excellent article for The Public Domain Review explores how Gustave Flaubert spent nearly thirty years working on a surreal and largely ‘unreadable’ retelling of the story and how it was only in the dark and compelling illustrations of Odilon Redon, made years later, that Flaubert’s strangest work finally came to life. Read it here: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/07/the-redemption-of-saint-anthony/ Download from Internet Archive – Part of the wonderful and comprehensive George Méliès Collection. DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/08/george-melies-temptation-of-st-anthony-1898/


The Redemption of Saint Anthony

Thursday 7 March 2013 at 13:41

Gustave Flaubert, best known for his masterpiece Madame Bovary, spent nearly thir…

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/03/07/the-redemption-of-saint-anthony/


Double Exposures

Tuesday 26 February 2013 at 16:54

A compilation of double exposures, an accidental phenomenon no longer possible with digital cameras. As well as the unintentional displayed here (though the first picture is debatable, and the saxophonist too), it was a common practise to use double exposures to create what became known as “Spirit Photographs”. One of the most prolific of the spirit photographers was a man named William Hope, whose startling images you can see in our post “The Spirit Photographs of William Hope”. (Images taken from a variety of sources, including Library of Congress and Flickr Commons. See link below each picture for more info). DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER 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 [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/02/26/double-exposures/


Various Forms of Architecture (1636)

Friday 22 February 2013 at 16:52

A selection of illustrations from Variae Architecturae Formae, a series of architectural studies after the works of Joanne Vredemanni Vriesio, also known in Dutch as Hans Vredeman de Vries (1527–c.1607). De Vries was a Dutch Renaissance architect, painter, and engineer. Studying Vitruvius and Sebastiano Serlio, (translated by his teacher Pieter Coecke van Aelst), he became an internationally known specialist in perspective and, as well as books on architecture, perspective and garden design, he became the city architect and fortification engineer for the city of Antwerp. The etchers of the images in the book are given as Jan and Lucas Van Doetecum, two brothers from Hollstein.(Wikipedia) (All images taken from Variae Architecturae Formae (1636) housed at the Internet Archive, contributed by The Getty. Hat-tip to John Ptak and his wonderful Pinterest boards where we first learnt of the book). DONATE NOW TO SAVE THE PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW! With our initial funding now come to an end, we need your support to help us continue our mission – to promote the public domain as an indispensable public good, and to curate and showcase the most interesting out-of-copyright works on the web. SIGN UP TO THE NEWSLETTER Sign up to get our free [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/02/22/various-forms-of-architecture-1636/


Still Booking on De Quincey’s Mail-Coach

Wednesday 20 February 2013 at 18:24

Robin Jarvis looks at Thomas de Quincey’s essay “The English Mail-Co…

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2013/02/20/still-booking-on-de-quinceys-mail-coach/