These two belonged to Dad (left) who considered becoming a lay preacher and perhaps training for the ministry, and died holding religion in pretty low esteem, and Mum, who I suspect never really thought that deeply about it. I find it quite poignant that although Mum’s bible was obviously quite fancy – it has a plastic coated high gloss cover which must have seemed quite special back in the 40’s – there is no inscription.
The second two belong to me – the blue one – and Marion.
Although it’s not apparent mine is considerably smaller than Marion’s and anyone who knew our two families would be unsurprised to discover that mine is a traditional, leather bound King James version, while Marion’s is a rather more modern and user friendly Good News version. The observant would also spot that Marion’s has a rather more detailed inscription than mine – which reflects the ties Marion’s family have with the local church (technically chapel – but in my mind that has a pious ring to it which doesn’t suit).
To me these relatively modest books fall into the category of Sherry Turkle’s Evocative Objects “…when we consider objects as companions to our emotional lives or as provocations to thought.” Further on Turkle suggests that most objects exert their holding power because of the particular moment and circumstance in which they come into our life. In the case of these bibles that is certainly true – my parents’ bibles ended up in my possession on their death – and as you can tell from the inscriptions the other two emerge from a common experience in mine and Marion’s lives together. In other words they are part of our shared legacy irrespective of how time as altered the ways we perceive the event that we shared. How could we possibly throw them away?Turkle, S. (Editor), 2007. Evocative Objects: things we think with. Kindle ed. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT press.