The Public Domain Review

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The First New Year (1885)

Monday 31 December 2012 at 14:39

The First New Year, by George Warwick; 1885; C. T. Bainbridge’s sons, New York. A short little poem meditating on the inevitable end of all things and the power of new beginnings. Little is known about the author George Warwick although he appears to also be the author of this poem on the theme of Christmas in a similar pamphlet series kept by the Library of Congress. 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 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/2012/12/31/the-first-new-year-1885/


Frank C. Stanley singing Auld Lang Syne (1910)

Friday 28 December 2012 at 19:00

Frank C. Stanley performing Auld Lang Syne, the poem written by the Scotsman Robert Burns which is traditionally sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. The song’s Scots title may be translated into English literally as “old long since”, or more idiomatically, “long long ago”, “days gone by” or “old times”. Consequently “For auld lang syne”, as it appears in the first line of the chorus, might be loosely translated as “for (the sake of) old times”. The lyrics of the poem were themselves heavily based on pre-existing verses. Robert Burns sent a copy of his song to the Scots Musical Museum with the remark, “The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man.” Some of the lyrics were indeed “collected” rather than composed by the poet; the ballad “Old Long Syne” printed in 1711 by James Watson shows considerable similarity in the first verse and the chorus to Burns’ later poem, and is almost certainly derived from the same “old song”. It is a fair supposition to attribute the rest of [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/28/frank-c-stanley-singing-auld-lang-syne-1910/


Engravings from Oliver Goldsmith’s History of the Earth and Animated Nature (1825)

Thursday 27 December 2012 at 16:33

“Beautiful and appropriate” engravings for Oliver Golsmith’s History of the Earth and Animated Nature (1825). Oliver Goldsmith was (1730-1774) was an Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright and poet, who is best known for his novel The Vicar of Wakefield, his pastoral poem The Deserted Village, and his plays The Good-Natur’d Man and She Stoops to Conquer. He is also thought to have written the classic children’s tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes, the source of the phrase “goody two-shoes”. Along with Joshua Reynolds and Samuel Johnson he was a founding member of “The Club” in 1764, a London dining club who would meet weekly bringing together the leading lights of the city’s artist and literary scene. (All images taken from A History of the Earth and Animated Nature (1825) housed at the Biodiversity Heritage Library, contributed by the University of California Libraries. Also viewable in book-reader format at the Internet Archive. Hat-tip to Pinterest user Donato Ricci). 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/2012/12/27/engravings-from-history-of-the-earth-and-animated-nature-1825/


Christmas Festive Bonanza Digest

Saturday 22 December 2012 at 13:21

To celebrate the festive season we have put together, just for you our beloved readers, a little Christmas digest including all our festive content from this year and last. Enjoy! Diary Days from Christmas Past 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.Read More » A Pictorial History of Santa Claus 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. We’ve put together a little pictorial guide showing his evolvement through the ages. Read More » Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost (1901) Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost, directed by Walter R. Booth, is the oldest known film adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel A Christmas Carol – [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/22/christmas-festive-bonanza-digest/


A Christmas Sermon by Robert Louis Stevenson (1900)

Friday 21 December 2012 at 19:16

A Christmas Sermon, by Robert Louis Stevenson; 1900; C. Scribner’s Sons, New York. A Christmas Sermon by Robert Louis Stevenson written while he convalesced from a lung ailment at Lake Sarnac in the winter of 1887. In the short text he meditates on the questions of death, morality and man’s main task in life which he concludes is “To be honest, to be kind — to earn a little and to spend a little less, to make upon the whole a family happier for his presence.” The piece was to be published in Scribner’s magazine the following December. This pamphlet edition is from 1900, published 6 years after Stevenson’s death at the age of just 44. 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 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/2012/12/21/a-christmas-sermon-by-robert-louis-stevenson-1900/


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus (1897)

Friday 21 December 2012 at 18:41

In 1897, Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, was asked a question by his then eight-year-old daughter, Virginia, which many a parent has been asked before: whether Santa Claus really exists. O’Hanlon deferred. He suggested Virginia wrote asking the question to one of New York’s most prominent newspapers at the time, The Sun, assuring her that “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus? The response to Virginia’s letter by one of the paper’s editors, Francis Pharcellus Church, remains the most reprinted editorial ever to run in any newspaper in the English language and found itself the subject of books, a film and television series. In his response Church goes beyond a simple “yes of course” to explore the philosophical issues behind Virginia’s request to tell her “the truth” and in the process lampoon a certain skepticism which he had found rife in American society since the suffering of the Civil War. His message in [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/21/yes-virginia-there-is-a-santa-claus-1897/


Sir Isaac Newton’s Daniel and the Apocalypse (1733)

Friday 21 December 2012 at 16:37

Sir Isaac Newton’s Daniel and the Apocalypse with an introductory study of the nature and the cause of unbelief, of miracles and prophecy, by Sir William Whitla; 1922; Murray, London. Best known for his advancements in scientific thought Sir Isaac Newton was also big into his apocalyptic prophecy. Largely unknown and unpublished documents, evidently written by Isaac Newton, indicate that he believed the world could end in 2060 AD. (He also had many other possible dates e.g. 2034). Despite the dramatic nature of a prediction of the end of the world, Newton may not have been referring to the 2060 date as a destructive act resulting in the annihilation of the earth and its inhabitants, but rather one in which he believed the world was to be replaced with a new one based upon a transition to an era of divinely inspired peace. In Christian theology, this concept is often referred to as The Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of Paradise by The Kingdom of God on Earth. In his posthumously-published Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and the Apocalypse of St. John, Newton expressed his belief that Bible prophecy would not be understood “until the time [...]

Source: http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/12/21/sir-isaac-newtons-daniel-and-the-apocalypse-1733/


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/