From combs and keys to sweets and handkerchiefs, certain objects, though seemingly mundane, can have a magical quality, and an often surprising power to arouse, absorb, disturb, or soothe.Take bags, for example. Why do most women carry handbags, while men rely on pockets? Why do so many houses have bags of bags? And why do we 'let the cat out the bag' or 'give someone the sack'? What significance do our bags hold for us? Imaginatively and entertainingly, Steven Connor embarks on a historical, philosophical and linguistic journey that explores our relationships with the curious things with which we have a forgotten but daily intimacy.

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