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Guillaume Pellier de Quengsy: a bold eye surgeon
  1. Richard Keeler,
  2. Arun D Singh,
  3. Harminder S Dua
  1. Correspondence to Mr Richard Keeler, 1 Brookfield Park, London NW5 1ES, UK; rkeeler{at}

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Many procedures have changed, many principles have remained—hsd

The subject of this month's cover feature is the two volume book of Pellier de Quengsy's ‘Course of Eye Operations…’ It was the first monograph in the world's literature devoted exclusively to eye surgery. Guillaume Pellier de Quengsy's father, Jean-Henri, was a master of surgery and city physician in Bar-le-Duc and Metz. He had been a pupil of Jacques Daviel. Pellier learned ophthalmology from his father and regarded it as the most difficult part of surgery. He dedicated his whole life to this speciality. Pellier later dropped the ‘De Quengsy’ part of his name probably because of the revolution in an attempt to be one of the people.

Pellier's first book in 1783 was on diseases of the eye and adjacent structures and how to cure them. In it he introduced a new method of the extraction of the cataract using an instrument of his own invention, the ophthalmotome. His major two volume work (figure …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.