Are ‘Wishing Stones’ 21st C ‘Stone Books’?

The Beauty Things introduced me to stone books. Some are crude whilst others are beautifully carved and inlaid. Many dated from the late 1800s/early 1900s and have the words Bible or Holy Bible carved into them. A few are inscribed with names.

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Book Review: The Beauty Things by Mark Edmonds & Alan Garner

Edmonds, M & Garner, A (2016) The Beauty Things Group VI Press ISBN 978 0 946722 28 0


A creative act of bringing the past into the present.

The Beauty Things is a record of conversations between Mark Edmonds (Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of York, who has a particular interest in arts-based approaches to the interpretation of history) and author Alan Garner. Alan Garner draws much of the power of his writing from his sense of place and history, and that of his and his family’s history within that place.

And from objects.

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Abhorring a vacuum…

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ― Ansel Adams

The contrasty graphicacy of Edwardian photographic postcards make them seem beguilingly honest and unmediated historical records of the way things were at the moment the image occurred.

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Reflections of a Postcard… 3. ‘Chichester’

Although the title of this post is ‘Chichester’ the essence of this postcard image has nothing to do with the location and everything to do with the intense stare of the Edwardian lad as he looks down into the still water longing for (or fearful of) ‘the bite’.

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Marvellous Maps 12. Mind Maps


Our brain is mapping the world. Often that map is distorted, but it’s a map with constant immediate sensory input.
~E. O. Wilson

‘Mind Mapping’ is promoted as a brain-friendly way of mapping or noting our otherwise disordered thoughts and weaves of free-association, memories and magpied information drawn from countless, unattributable sources.

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Marvellous Maps 11. Memory Maps

All maps ‘map’ memories and no map tells the truth.

All maps are fictions, abstractions, simplification and all begin as a seed in someone’s imagination. These facts don’t in any way diminish the value or potential of mapping as a means of capturing the fleeting essence of memories. In fact maps provide a useful symbolic framework in which to explore both belonging and identity. They facilitate way-finding and re-visiting and memory.

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