Catalogue Number: 2090
The ophthalmoscope; its mode of application explained, and its value shown, in the exploration of internal diseases affecting the eye
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: HOGG Jabez
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1857
Edition: 2nd edition
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: John Churchill
Description Of Item: Original green embossed cloth covers, 143 pages plus one advertisement page, coloured frontispiece plate and 7 black and white woodcuts in the text.
Historical Significance: Jabez Hogg (1817-1899) was a London ophthalmologist who also wrote 'The Microscope' which ran to many editions. The first edition of 'The Ophthalmoscope' was published in 1858 just 7 years after Helmholtz invented the ophthalmoscope. The first edition has several colour plates but less text. The early chapters of the book give a detailed history of the first ophthalmoscopes.See www.aao.org/careers/seniors/upload/Scope-0709-WEB.pdf for an account of Hogg's life and how badly this book was received by a book reviewer, One quote from this source (Scope The News Letter of the American Academy of Ophthalmology Seniors reads 'Hogg's book appeared first in late 1857, just over six years after the ophthalmoscope had been introduced and very little had yet been written in England about ophthalmoscopy. It is said that Hogg's book was the first book in English with the word 'ophthalmoscope' in the title. In a year or two a second edition appeared.When a third edition came out in 1863, there was a listof 60 typographic errors at the front, suggesting that the proofing had been careless, and exposing the fact that Jabez Hogg knew little about optics and nothing of German or French.' The book review said ''His book is so utterly and unutterably bad, and is, from beginning to end, such an incoherent mass of errors and misstatements about every subject with which it deals, that we almost despair of being able to impart anything like a correct impression of its demerits. It is difficult to believe that any reasonable person could undertake to write a volume on a scientific subject of which, in all its parts, he proves himself to be profoundly ignorant. . . yet this. . . . is what Mr. Hogg has done. . . . His book has no arrangement, no sequence, no method, no beginning, middle or end. . . . He scarcely writes a sentence without a grammatical error; and yet he pursues his way, . . . tumbling over relative pronouns, misquoting, mistaking, misspelling, ignoring optics, trampling upon physiology, and, all the while sustained by an unconsciousness of his own ignorance, and by a serene faith in his own destiny, that unite to impart to his eccentricities an audacity that borders upon the sublime.'
How Acquired: Purchased by Kett Museum (bought from Ebay for $70)
Date Acquired: August 2012
Condition: Very good: neat repairs to top and bottom of spine and new end papers.
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection