Caroline Walker Bynum has written extensively about medieval religious objects and about the background to medieval understandings of materiality in theology, natural philosophy, and science. Here she turns to a very different consideration of objects, asking how they reflect and sharpen personal and contemporary memories. Using autobiographical reminiscences of her mother's Virginia girlhood a hundred years ago and of her own encounters with that Southern past, she considers how the story of two lost or destroyed objects—a photograph of a house and a portrait of a Southern beauty—help anchor the story of two lives, yet leave it mysteriously open as well.

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