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Through The Looking Glasses
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Through The Looking Glasses (Hardback)

Pre-order for despatch on publication.


'Everything was made for a purpose; everything is necessary for the fulfilment of that purpose . Observe that noses have been made for spectacles ; therefore we have spectacles' from Voltaire's Candide

With the broad appeal of books by the likes of Mark Kurlansky, Bill Bryson and Simon Garfield, Travis Elborough uses a single, life-changing object to tell a much bigger story.

Using personal observation, memoir, reportage, science, social history and cultural criticism , the book moves chronologically through the story of spectacles.

The historical scope is wide, ranging from early theories about how the eye worked and theological and philosophical arguments about the limits of perception by Greek thinkers and Arab scholars, through to the ingeniousness of Italian glassmakers in the Medieval and Renaissance periods. There are appearances by the great and the good bespectacled men and women of yesteryear, running the gamut from the fictional Clark Kent in Superman to the authors Aldous Huxley, James Joyce, and Angela Carter, and including such actors and musicians such as Buddy Holly, Michael Caine, Dizzy Gillespie and John Lennon, and their lorgnettes, monocles, Pince-nez, horn-rims, tortoise-shell 'Oxfords' and Ray Ban aviator shades.

Through the Looking Glasses is about vision and the need for humanity to see clearly and where the impulse to improve of our eyesight has led us. The society of the spectacle may finally be upon us . . . but how much of it do we really see?

BiographyBiography: generalAutobiography: general Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group Publication Date: 03/06/2021 ISBN-13: 9781408712849  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
Availability: Pre-order for despatch on publication. Pre-Order

Acclaimed by the Guardian as 'one of the country's finest pop culture historians', Travis Elborough has been a freelance writer, author, broadcaster and cultural commentator for nearly two decades. Elborough's books include Wish You Were Here: England on Sea, The Long-Player Goodbye, a hymn to vinyl records that inspired the BBC4 documentary When Albums Ruled the World, in which he also appeared, and A Walk in the Park, a loving exploration of public parks and green space. Elborough regularly appears on Radio 4 and recently wrote and presented the five-part series, The Rise and Fall of the Antique, and is a frequent contributor to the Guardian and Observer, among other newspapers and magazines.

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