Through The Looking Glasses: The Spectacular Life of Spectacles (Paperback)

Through The Looking Glasses: The Spectacular Life of Spectacles By Travis Elborough Cover Image
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Description


'Elegant and multi-focal. Glorious!' Simon Garfield

'It will make you look at specs with fresh eyes' New Statesman

'Lively, engaging and admirably wide-ranging' The Times

'Fascinating' Observer

The humble pair of glasses might just be one of 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 really think about these things perched on the ends of our noses?

Through the Looking Glasses traces the fascinating story of spectacles: from their inception as primitive visual aids for monkish scribes right through to today's designer eyewear and the augmented reality of Google Glass. There are encounters with ingenious medieval Italian glassmakers, myopic Renaissance rulers and spectacle-makers, as well as the silent movie star Harold Lloyd, the rock'n'roller Buddy Holly and the full-screen figure of Marilyn Monroe. This is a book about vision and the need for humanity to see clearly, and where the impulse to improve our eyesight has led us.

About the Author


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.

Praise For…


Elegantly framed and multi-focal, this is a gloriously panoptical survey... As a history of restored sight it is instructive, and as a narrative of facial furniture it is fascinating—Simon Garfield

Elegantly framed and multi-focal, this is a gloriously panoptical survey... As a history of restored sight it is instructive, and as a narrative of facial furniture it is fascinating—Simon Garfield

This is a thorough, entertaining and thoroughly entertaining history of life through a lens—David Quantick

This is a thorough, entertaining and thoroughly entertaining history of life through a lens—David Quantick

It will make you look at specs with fresh eyes—New Statesman

It will make you look at specs with fresh eyes—New Statesman

A fascinating journey through the history of eye glasses... a rich and detailed account of technology, fashion, medicine and society... encyclopaedic historical and cultural range, intriguing insights and jocular prose—Hackney Citizen

A fascinating journey through the history of eye glasses... a rich and detailed account of technology, fashion, medicine and society... encyclopaedic historical and cultural range, intriguing insights and jocular prose—Hackney Citizen

Fascinating... [An] exuberant history of spectacles and those who wear them—Sunday Times

Fascinating... [An] exuberant history of spectacles and those who wear them—Sunday Times

Elborough is an elegant writer who moves easily between high art, tricky optics and celebrity culture... This is a lively, engaging, admirably wide-ranging history of everything you could possibly want to know about glasses—The Times

Elborough is an elegant writer who moves easily between high art, tricky optics and celebrity culture... This is a lively, engaging, admirably wide-ranging history of everything you could possibly want to know about glasses—The Times

[A] brilliantly enjoyable survey... Elborough brings his own experience as a lifelong myope beautifully to bear on his subject—Guardian

[A] brilliantly enjoyable survey... Elborough brings his own experience as a lifelong myope beautifully to bear on his subject—Guardian

Fascinating—Observer

Fascinating—Observer

Witty, enjoyable and illuminating... the sort of book that makes you wonder why nobody has ever written it before... Elborough is an erudite cultural historian—Business Post

Witty, enjoyable and illuminating... the sort of book that makes you wonder why nobody has ever written it before... Elborough is an erudite cultural historian—Business Post

[An] exhaustive, illuminating celebration of eyewear... Elborough proves to be an endlessly entertaining and informative guide—Islington Tribune

[An] exhaustive, illuminating celebration of eyewear... Elborough proves to be an endlessly entertaining and informative guide—Islington Tribune


Product Details
ISBN: 9780349144115
ISBN-10: 0349144117
Publisher: Abacus
Publication Date: January 30th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English