Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter

Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter

by Howard Mansfield
Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter

Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter

by Howard Mansfield


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The mystery that attracts Howard Mansfield's attention is that some houses have lifeare home, are dwellings, and others aren't. Dwelling, he says, is an old-fashioned word that we've misplaced. When we live heart and soul, we dwell. When we belong to a place, we dwell. Possession, they say, is nine-tenths of the law, but it is also what too many houses and towns lack. We are not possessed by our home places. This lost quality of dwellingthe soul of buildingshaunts most of our houses and our landscape. Dwelling in Possibility is a search for the ordinary qualities that make some houses a home, and some public places welcoming.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780872331679
Publisher: Bauhan Publishing
Publication date: 09/03/2013
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Howard Mansfield is the author of nine books about preservation, architecture, and history, most recently Summer Over Autumn (Bauhan 2017). He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, Historic Preservation, and Yankee. He and his wife, writer Sy Montgomery, live in a 130-year-old house in Hancock, New Hampshire.

Table of Contents

Introduction: House Hunting Dwelling in the Ordinary Pages From an Ice Storm Journal The Age of Clutter Finding Heaven in the Most Hated House on the Block The Perilous Career of a Footpath Dwelling in Destruction The Hut on Fire Keep the Home Fires Burning The Storm After The Storm Dwelling in Possibility Counting Houses Sheds The Beginner's Book of Dwelling Bibliography Acknowledgments

What People are Saying About This

The Wall Street Journal

“Like Thoreau, Mr. Mansfield is a keen observer and, in his neck of New Hampshire, a granitic critic of the rushed life.”

Kate Whouley

“Howard Mansfield is a graceful writer with deep-rooted curiosity and a free-range mind. Reading him is like taking a long walk with a learned friend. In Dwelling in Possibility, Mansfield invites us to travel across time, geography and culture before delivering us—wiser and more thoughtful—to the full-of-meaning place we call home.”

John Stilgoe

“Eminently readable, ruthless, midn-changing, this unique look at what makes house home rewards the closest of scrutiny.”

George Howe Colt

“This wise and witty meditation on what makes a house a home fascinated, challenged, and tickled me. After reading it (and believe me, you should read it), you will look at your surroundings—and, perhaps, yourself—in a richer, more nuanced way.”

Leslie Thatcher

“Compelling, pleasurable and strange . . . this subtle and quirky book creates a distinct somewhere, a felicitous space, both capacious and snug, hospitable to musing and invention, an invitation to participate in creating a more humane home for us all.”

Customer Reviews