by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2006 danwaniek.org
|System of Ophthalmology, by William Stewart, Sir, Ed. Duke-Elder||Monumental ! Victorian Erudites' victory. Unavoidable... Except perhaps for Arnold Toynbee's A Study of History, Frazers' The Golden Bough, and Gibbon's History of the Decline..., there is no other book like this one... Unique features among unique books usually include a single person's authorship, a lifetime's achievement, and that particular blend of ways and means " to live inside the work ". A taste of this blessed and inspired mixture is given in the first book reviewed here in this weblog, below. But sir Duke Elder's System is also the most comprehensive medical treatise of them all ! And is still Homeric in its depth. Now of course in the age of machine-readable text, we forget about actually reading such seemingly endless text ourselves... There is always Wikipedia to compete with Google for the ranking glory of mechanical slaves.|
|But just consider trying this : enter a silent scriptorium with a recollected, eager mind and freshly note what you might fall upon when reading Duke Elder, using pen and paper and your own trusted mind. You'll be much surprized about the value of such human " action ", and the power of such hardware. If you start with the history of spectacles, beware ! You will forget you are reading a medical treatise...
ISBN : 0853137951, BOBE-0662-REFS-0001, RANK : #beyond counting, thousands of pages, 1976 edition.