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Special Article
July 2002

The Big Brown Eyes of Samuel Pepys

Author Affiliations

From the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland (Dr Wilson); and Rangiora Optometrists, North Canterbury, New Zealand (Ms Field). Ms Fullerton is a freelance literary lecturer and social historian from Sydney, Australia. *Quotations are from the latest transcription of the diary (cited by date).1

Arch Ophthalmol. 2002;120(7):969-975. doi:10.1001/archopht.120.7.969
Abstract

  Samuel Pepys (1633-1703) is known for writing the finest diary in the English language. He was a man of remarkable accomplishments who transformed the English Navy, was president of the Royal Society, and was a member of the British Parliament. He survived the Great Plague and imprisonment in the Tower of London. During the years when he was writing the diary, Pepys began to experience great pain in his eyes when reading and writing and from photophobia, which caused him to give up writing the diary. Pepys also had an ultimately unjustifiable fear of blindness.

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