Latest Newsletter

The Public Domain Review

Vol.7 #23

New Essay

Pods, Pots, and Potions: Putting Cacao to Paper in Early Modern Europe

Christine Jones explores the different ways the cacao tree has been depicted through history — from 16th-century codices to 18th-century botanicals — and what this changing iconography reveals about cacao’s journey into European culture.

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Our End-of-Year Fundraiser is launched!

We need your support to keep the project going

We are a not-for-profit endeavour that relies on donations from our wonderful community of readers, so drives like this are essential to our survival. If you like the project, and would like to see it continue, then please do consider donating. You can support us either through a one-off donation or, even better, by becoming a “Friend of The Public Domain Review” and so joining our club of loyal supporters each of whom pledge an annual donation, creating a bedrock of support vital to the project. Among other perks (including 10% off at our prints shop!), Friends pledging $30 (£20/28 euro) or more will receive our very special postcard sets — 8 beautiful postcards curated around a theme, with a textual insert — sent out twice-a-year. The next set is themed around “FOOD” and will be sent out to Friends who’ve come onboard before midnight on December 19th. For more info, and to make your donation please visit our support page.

Donate today »


New Collection Items


The Whims (1799) and The Follies (1815–23) of Francisco Goya

Prints from Goya’s Los caprichos (The Whims) and Los disparates (The Follies), two series which see him condemning the follies and foibles of civilized society.

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Kittens and Cats: A First Reader (1911) — Cats and Captions before the Internet Age

If this delightful, yet slightly creepy, book is anything to go by then taking photos of cats and brandishing them with an amusing caption, was far from being a phenomenon born with the internet age. Meet “Queen Cat”, “Dunce Cat”, “Hero Cat”, and more…

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SEASONAL BONUS: Our “Christmas Festive Bonanza Digest”

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 the past years – including a pictorial history of Santa Claus, creepy Krampus cards, diary days from Christmas past, the first ever Scrooge film, and much more. Enjoy!

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From our Friends at JSTOR Daily…

Punch vs. Tea in the Eighteenth Century

In Charles Dickens’s day, the arrival of cold weather in England or America meant it was time for punch—an elaborate alcoholic concoction guaranteed to warm up any party. But not just anyone drank the warm, boozy beverage.

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Prints Shop: Last order dates for Christmas delivery to US addresses!

Get your prints before Christmas!

For US addresses, framed print orders must be made before end of 8th December, and unframed prints made before end of 12th December. Upcoming cut-off dates for other countries: Canada, UK: 15th December (Unframed).

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Our new book of selected essays

Assembling the most stimulating, entertaining, and thought-provoking writing to grace the site in 2016, this fourth volume of essays from The Public Domain Review contains fourteen illustrated texts on subjects drawn from two-thousand years of human thought and activity. Featuring talking busts, balloonscapes, invisible worlds, bickering gods, embodied alphabets, astral travel, and a light-fingered Oscar Wilde…

More info here »

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.

Start exploring here »

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