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Richard Banister 1570–1625. Father of British Ophthalmology
  1. Richar Keeler,
  2. Arun D Singh,
  3. Harminder Singh Dua

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The cover of this month's British Journal of Ophthalmology shows the title page of Richard Banister's ‘A Treatise of one hundred and thirteen Diseases of the Eyes and Eye-Liddes’ published in London in 1622.

The title is misleading as it suggests that the author was Richard Banister. The book in fact was a translation into English of a work by Jacques Guillemeau who was a surgeon at the courts of Charles IX, Henry III and Henry IV of France.1 It was first published in French in Paris in 1585 and later at Lyon in 1610 entitled ‘Traité des Maladies de l’Œil (Handbook for treatment of ailments of the eye)’.1 It is suggested that the first English translation was made by ‘A.H.’ which ran out of print and Richard Banister published a second edition in 1622.1 This second edition is a composite volume of 240 leaves and in addition to the aforementioned translation contains material called ‘Cervisia Medicata, Purging Ale, with divers aphorisms and principles’. The …

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  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.