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06 Dec 2021

Love of the theatre and the power of the lorgnette’s vision

March, 1939.

March, 1939.

Is our eyesight getting worse these strenuous days?

Eye specialists say that it is, and as I sat at dinner next to one of those quiet and erudite people the other night I had it confirmed for myself.

The coloured lights at night, he explained, the speed at which things move, all tend to tighten up our eye strain, and he recommended, unofficially and with a smile - the lorgnette.

With this instrument of Victorian dignity one can focus momentarily on certain objects, but one is not continually subjecting the eyes to false focus, he explained.

So I went home and dug about bottom drawers and old, faded brocade-covered jewel boxes, and found myself a very beautiful lorgnette which belonged to one of my Victorian relatives and I am going to use it with lenses to suit my sight.

And I shall be fashionable with it, for the lorgnette is being used in New York and Paris, and it will not be long, I think, before we see it universally used in smart places in London.

* * *

Many distinguished society women attended a party in the West End this week to form a ladies’ committee for the National Theatre.

Miss Evelyn Hall, the actress, was telling me how much she believes in the National Theatre.

“I find terrific enthusiasm amongst my audiences, and after hearing the ‘gloomies’ who say the theatre is dead, it is encouraging to find that a deep love of the stage still exists,” she said.

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