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Why Women Should Not Vote (1917)

- October 27, 2020 in Uncategorized

A humorous 1917 blank notebook invites consideration of the fight for women’s suffrage in the USA.

The Uncertain Heavens: Christiaan Huygens’ Ideas of Extraterrestrial Life

- October 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

During the 17th century, as knowledge of the Universe and its contents increased, so did speculation about life on other planets. One such source, as Hugh Aldersey-Williams explores, was Dutch astronomer, mathematician, and inventor Christiaan Huygens, whose earlier work on probability paved the way for his very modern evaluation of what alien life might look like.

Sadakichi Hartmann’s Conversations with Walt Whitman (1895)

- October 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

Short pamphlet of conversations with Whitman in his last years by the art critic and poet Sadakichi Hartmann.

The Tours of Dr Syntax (1809–1821)

- October 20, 2020 in Uncategorized

Three books combining pictures and verse about an Anglican cleric in search of the perfectly picturesque.

Filippo Buonanni’s Harmonic Cabinet (1722)

- October 13, 2020 in Uncategorized

Engravings from an ambitious and beautiful attempt to catalogue, for the first time, the musical instruments of the world.

Fungi, Folklore, and Fairyland

- October 7, 2020 in Uncategorized

From fairy-rings to Lewis Carroll's Alice, mushrooms have long been entwined with the supernatural in art and literature. What might this say about past knowledge of hallucinogenic fungi? Mike Jay looks at early reports of mushroom-induced trips and how one species in particular became established as a stock motif of Victorian fairyland.

Herbert Geddes’ “Life in Japan” Collection: Hand-Coloured Glass Transparencies of the Meiji-era

- October 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

Stunning hand-colored photographs of life in Meiji-era Japan, from the Canadian businessman Herbert Geddes’ collection, acquired in Yokohama from 1908–1918.

Charles Babbage’s Observations on Street Nuisances (1864)

- October 1, 2020 in Uncategorized

A chapter from Charles Babbage’s The Life of a Philosopher railing against noise pollution in 19th-century London.

Kaspar Hauser’s Art (1828–1833)

- September 30, 2020 in Uncategorized

Artwork by the famous foundling Kaspar Hauser, ranging from pen-and-ink self-portraits to watercolour studies of fruit and flowers.

William Elliot Griffis’ Korean Fairy Tales (1922)

- September 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

Vivid retellings of Korean folktales by an American scholar and Protestant minister, including several stories about the sprite Tokgabi.