Traité des Maladies de l’Oeil, qui sont en nombre de cent treize, ausquelles il est suiect… A Monsieur Paré, Conseiller du Roy, & son premier Chirurgien.

A Paris: Chez Charles Massé… .1585

Small 8vo, (xviii), 101 [i.e. 99], (1) leaves. Massé’s woodcut device on the title. Old vellum. A fine copy.

FIRST EDITION. G&M 5818. The first French book on ophthalmology. Regarded by Garrison as the best of the Renaissance books on ophthalmology, this book was one of a tiny handful of works on ophthalmology that existed at that time. The Büchlin and the Alle Kranckheyt der Augen by Leonhart Fuchs had appeared in 1539, and Bartisch’s great Ophthalmoduleia just before Guillemeau’s book in 1583. These were just about the only monographs on the diseases of the eye, any other works, Rungius (1578) for example, being on optics and the theory of vision. Guillemeau’s book is addressed and dedicated to his father-in-law and teacher, Ambroise Paré, who contributed an introductory sonnet. The work comprises nine sections, the first of which is an anatomical description of the eye, and the others are concerned with the diseases and disorders of the eye, the eyelids, and the optic nerve. It is provided with a large index. More substantial than Fuchs, not as ponderous as Bartisch, it was the obvious choice for translation into other languages, and was the first monograph on ophthalmology to achieve an international readership; an English edition appeared only two years later, and a Dutch translation followed. Of the original French there were only two separate editions (the second in 1610), and both are extremely rare. Albert, Norton & Hurtes 941. Becker catalogue 168. Doe, A bibliography of…Paré, 26.


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