In this graceful collection, Howard Mansfield looks anew at the New England region he's called home for over twenty years. He studies the beautiful stonework of granite bridges with a local expert; contemplates the deserted second and third stories of the old mercantile buildings that populate New England's towns and cities; and considers the cemeteries and roadside shrines that punctuate the landscape. Each exploratory adventure is written with Mansfield's typical wit and passion in prose so smooth that the deeper questions he raises appear with startling poignancy. How do our local landmarks narrate the past? What is history? Should we can we preserve its artifacts for the future? A kind of elegy for the built environment and dying customs of New England life, these essays will challenge anyone's notions of home, history, and the future that jeopardizes both.
Howard Mansfield sifts through the commonplace and the forgotten to discover stories that tell us about ourselves and our place in the world. He writes about history, architecture, and preservation.