Through the Looking Glasses: The Spectacular Life of Spectacles

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Description
The humble pair of glasses might just be one the world's greatest inventions, allowing millions to see a world that might otherwise appear a blur. And yet how much do many of us even really think about these things perched on the ends of our noses? In this eye-opening history Travis Elborough traces the fascinating true story of spectacles: from their inception as primitive visual aids to monkish scribes right through to today's designer eyewear and the augmented reality of Google Glass. And taking in along the way such delights as lorgnettes, monocles, pince-nez, tortoise-shell 'Windsors' and Ray Ban aviator shades.

Peering into early theories about how the eye worked, he considers the theological and philosophical arguments about the limits of perception by Greek thinkers, Roman statesmen and Arab scholars. There are encounters with ingenious medieval Italian glassmakers, myopic Renaissance rulers and spectacle-makers and opticians, brilliant, mad, bad and dangerous to know, in the Londons of Samuel Pepys, Dr Johnson and Sherlock Holmes. 'Elegant and multi-focal.

Glorious!' Simon GarfieldWe learn how eyeglasses were the making of the silent movie star Harold Lloyd and the rock n roller Buddy Holly and helped liberate an exasperated John Lennon from Beatlemania. Get hip to horn-rims with Dizzy Gillespie and Michael Caine And see girls in glasses through the lenses of the crime fiction by Dorothy L Sayers and Raymond Chandler and the full-screen figure of Marilyn Monroe. Through the Looking Glasses is about vision and the need for humanity to see clearly, and where the impulse to improve our eyesight has led us.

The society of the spectacle may finally be upon us . . .

but how much of it do we really see?
DELIVERY

We offer free standard UK delivery on all orders over £50.

Orders up to £30 are charged a flat fee of £4.95

Orders between £30.01 and £50 are charged a flat fee of £6.95.

Usual UK delivery timescale (excluding custom prints) is between 5 and 7 working days from the date of dispatch. Please allow up to 14 working days for delivery. For custom print delivery pricing and timescales see below. These timescales may vary especially when we have online sales and in the weeks before Christmas.

Delivery Worldwide

We can also ship most items worldwide. 

For full details, including prices, click here.

Custom Prints

Your prints and frames will be handmade by King & McGaw at their Sussex workshop.

Unframed orders are shipped within 5 working days (normally shipped next day).

Framed orders are shipped within 20 working days.

Further information on delivery timescales for custom prints can be found here.

RETURNS

If you are not completely satisfied with your item you may return it within 28 days for a refund.

For further details on returns click here.

Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund on custom prints unless they are faulty or we have made a mistake. Custom prints are exempt as they are made to order.

Manufacturer/Publisher: Little Brown
Binding: Paperback
Author: Travis Ellborough
Date Published: 2023
Pagination: 352p

SKU: 9780349144115

Description
The humble pair of glasses might just be one the world's greatest inventions, allowing millions to see a world that might otherwise appear a blur. And yet how much do many of us even really think about these things perched on the ends of our noses? In this eye-opening history Travis Elborough traces the fascinating true story of spectacles: from their inception as primitive visual aids to monkish scribes right through to today's designer eyewear and the augmented reality of Google Glass. And taking in along the way such delights as lorgnettes, monocles, pince-nez, tortoise-shell 'Windsors' and Ray Ban aviator shades.

Peering into early theories about how the eye worked, he considers the theological and philosophical arguments about the limits of perception by Greek thinkers, Roman statesmen and Arab scholars. There are encounters with ingenious medieval Italian glassmakers, myopic Renaissance rulers and spectacle-makers and opticians, brilliant, mad, bad and dangerous to know, in the Londons of Samuel Pepys, Dr Johnson and Sherlock Holmes. 'Elegant and multi-focal.

Glorious!' Simon GarfieldWe learn how eyeglasses were the making of the silent movie star Harold Lloyd and the rock n roller Buddy Holly and helped liberate an exasperated John Lennon from Beatlemania. Get hip to horn-rims with Dizzy Gillespie and Michael Caine And see girls in glasses through the lenses of the crime fiction by Dorothy L Sayers and Raymond Chandler and the full-screen figure of Marilyn Monroe. Through the Looking Glasses is about vision and the need for humanity to see clearly, and where the impulse to improve our eyesight has led us.

The society of the spectacle may finally be upon us . . .

but how much of it do we really see?
DELIVERY

We offer free standard UK delivery on all orders over £50.

Orders up to £30 are charged a flat fee of £4.95

Orders between £30.01 and £50 are charged a flat fee of £6.95.

Usual UK delivery timescale (excluding custom prints) is between 5 and 7 working days from the date of dispatch. Please allow up to 14 working days for delivery. For custom print delivery pricing and timescales see below. These timescales may vary especially when we have online sales and in the weeks before Christmas.

Delivery Worldwide

We can also ship most items worldwide. 

For full details, including prices, click here.

Custom Prints

Your prints and frames will be handmade by King & McGaw at their Sussex workshop.

Unframed orders are shipped within 5 working days (normally shipped next day).

Framed orders are shipped within 20 working days.

Further information on delivery timescales for custom prints can be found here.

RETURNS

If you are not completely satisfied with your item you may return it within 28 days for a refund.

For further details on returns click here.

Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund on custom prints unless they are faulty or we have made a mistake. Custom prints are exempt as they are made to order.