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Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Sep;122(9):1370-4.

Blinking Sam: the ocular afflictions of Dr. Samuel Johnson.

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  • 1Nelson Hospital, Nelson, New Zealand.


The poor health of Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) has fascinated the public for more than 200 years. The illnesses of few famous men, with the possible exception of Napoleon, have attracted more speculation. Johnson was an outstanding 18th-century literary figure, an essayist, novelist, and poet, and is particularly famous as the creator of the first important dictionary of the English language. His writings and those of his physicians and friends, particularly his biographer, James Boswell, provide an intimate account of a cultural icon.

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