This engaging and witty cultural history traces the evolution of the mirror from antiquity to the present day, illustrating its journey from wondrous object to ordinary trinket. With its earliest invention, the mirror allowed us to gaze upon ourselves, bestowing a power both fascinating and terrifying.
Sabine Melchior-Bonnet is an instructor at the College de France in Paris. This is her first work to be published in English.
"An engagingly written work, well worth reading." -- Choice
"The Mirror is an amusing jewel of a book, a sparkling reflection of the history of the mirror in Europe, and the role of the mirror in European imagination." -- Los Angeles Times
"Presents such facts with erudite relish. The early chapters of The Mirror are a feast of technological information and curious details of European social history." -- The Wall Street Journal
"Sabine Melchior-Bonnet has taken the reflective piece of glass and turned it into a unique historical treatise on -- when you boil it down -- why human beings like to look at themselves and what that instinct means." -- Chicago Tribune
"Melchior-Bonnet's research-rigorous and vast-reveals much about our most carnal selves, our lust for control over our image, and our most lofty spiritual aspirations." -- The National Post