Turn a Blind Eye © wood engraving (ed. 40) image: 4 x 5 in. $100.00 (go to "Hi There" for purchase information)
When someone is "turning a blind eye" they are said to be ignoring or denying something they know to be true. The phrase orignated with British Lord (then vice-admiral) Nelson during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1801. His commander signaled with flags from another ship, ordering him to withdraw his ship from the battle. Nelson had lost his right eye and right arm in two different battles years before and when he was told of the signal to withdraw he moved his right eye to the eyepiece of the telescope and said he couldn't see the signals. He then gave orders for his ship to continue fighting. The battle ended with a truce between the British and the Danish and Norwegians.

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