Catalogue Number: 1812
Treatise on the diseases of the eye
Sub-Category: Significant book (Aitken collection)
Author: LAWRENCE William
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1844
Edition: 3rd Edition
Time Period: 19th C
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: London
Publisher/Manufacturer: Henry G Bohn
Description Of Item: Original grey cloth covers, 820 pages, tidy pencil annotations throughout.
Historical Significance: This work is based on lectures delivered at the London Ophthalmic Infirmary and was a most important work in its time; "He did much to advance the surgery of the eye. This comprehensive work marks an epoch in ophthalmic surgery." Morton, A medical bibliography #5849. The first edition was published in 1833. Sir William Lawrence FRCS FRS (1783-1867), 1st Baronet, was an English eye surgeon and President of the Royal College of Surgeons of London and Serjeant Surgeon to the Queen. He taught anatomy and physiology at the Infirmary for Diseases of the Eye (later to become the Moorfields Eye Hospital), London. He was considered one of the most distinguished eye surgeons of the early 19th century. He taught the Canadian William Beaumont, and together they invented various surgical instruments including the "iris forceps". These allowed the removal of portions of the iris without tearing the cornea. In his mid thirties he published two books of his lectures which contained pre-Darwinian ideas on man's nature and, effectively, on evolution. He was forced to withdraw the second (1819) book after fierce criticism; the Lord Chancellor ruled it blasphemous. Lawrence's transition to respectability occurred gradually, and his surgical career was highly successful.
Condition: Poor. Front and back covers now re-attached (but weakly)
Location: Nathan Library. Aitken collection