The Taylor Dynasty: Three Generations of 18th-19th Century Oculists

The “Chevalier” John Taylor was perhaps the most important itinerant oculist of 18th century Europe. His professional legacy is controversial, and he was accused by many contemporaries and subsequent historians of being a quack. Nevertheless, his writings demonstrate an understanding of ocular anatomy and disease better than that of most of his contemporaries, including the first published illustration of the semidecussation of the optic nerves. Taylor’s personal legacy is more favorable. His son, John Taylor, Jr., and his grandsons John and Jeremiah Taylor, were respected oculists. Their lives give perspective on ophthalmic practice in 18th and 19th century Europe.
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