Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “public domain”

Why We Like What We Like: Poet and Philosopher George Santayana on the Formation and Confirmation of Our Standards and Sensibilities
Why We Like What We Like: Poet and Philosopher George Santayana on the Formation and Confirmation of Our Standards and Sensibilities

“Half our standards come from our first masters, and the other half from our first loves.”

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The Science and Splendor of Australian Butterflies: How Two 19th-Century Teenage Sisters’ Forgotten Paintings Sparked a Triumph of Modern Conservation
The Science and Splendor of Australian Butterflies: How Two 19th-Century Teenage Sisters’ Forgotten Paintings Sparked a Triumph of Modern Conservation

A bittersweet story of staggering talent, obsessive curiosity, countercultural courage, and posthumous redemption.

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Spring in a Pandemic: Mary Shelley on What Makes Life Worth Living and Nature’s Beauty as a Lifeline to Regaining Sanity
Spring in a Pandemic: Mary Shelley on What Makes Life Worth Living and Nature’s Beauty as a Lifeline to Regaining Sanity

“There is but one solution to the intricate riddle of life; to improve ourselves, and contribute to the happiness of others.”

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Virginia Woolf on Finding Beauty in the Uncertainty of Time, Space, and Being
Virginia Woolf on Finding Beauty in the Uncertainty of Time, Space, and Being

Calibration and consolation for those moments when it seems impossible that we should ever again recompose the world’s broken fragments into a harmonious whole.

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The Body Politic Electric: Walt Whitman on Women’s Centrality to Democracy
The Body Politic Electric: Walt Whitman on Women’s Centrality to Democracy

“Have I not said that womanhood involves all? Have I not told how the universe has nothing better than the best womanhood?”

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