The Poetry of Victorian Science; Cosmic diagrams; Bon-mots; Camo fish; Laughter, and more...

The Public Domain Review
Vol.8 #14

New Essay

The Poetry of Victorian Science

In 1848, the mineralogist, pioneer of photography, and amateur poet Robert Hunt published The Poetry of Science, a hugely ambitious work that aimed to offer a survey of scientific knowledge while also communicating the metaphysical, moral, and aesthetic aspects of science to the general reader. Gregory Tate explores what the book can teach us about Victorian desires to reconcile the languages of poetry and science.

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New Collection Items


Cosmography Manuscript (12th Century)

Wonderful series of medieval cosmographic diagrams and schemas sourced from a late 12th-century English manuscript.

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Bon-Mots of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century (1897)

Compilation of some of the best conversational witticisms of the 18th and 19th centuries, including Joseph Addison, Samuel Johnson, Oscar Wilde, and Lord Byron, and many lesser known wits.

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The Laughing Song (1904)

Henry Klausen

In this novelty recording by the Norwegian actor Henry Klauser, a mournful refrain gradually gives way to laughter.

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Flatfish Camouflage Experiments (1911)

Photographs from a series of experiments in which various types of flounder through their paces as regards camouflage ability.

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From our Friends at JSTOR Daily...


How to Create a Human Being

The Book of Stones, a central alchemical text, contained formulae with the power to create living tissue from ordinary matter, supposedly.

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Beautiful prints to buy in our online shop!

Get the PDR on your walls

We've teamed up with a host of excellent print partners to offer for sale on the site hundreds of museum quality prints of an ever-expanding selection of favourites from the PDR archives. All custom made to the highest standards. All profits going back into the project.

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Our collection of recommended books

A hand-picked selection of recently published books (within the last 15 years or so), all of which in someway tap into the tastes and concerns of The Public Domain Review. There are many beautiful facsimiles and reproductions of works we've featured on the site, as well as fascinating books on a wide range of historical periods and themes, including many penned by our very own essay contributors.

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