Circulation : William Harvey's Revolutionary Idea

3.85 (61 ratings by Goodreads)
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"What I am really anxious to hear is the final cause of your monstrous fiction. For your false invention seems to have no purpose. What reason can you give me for the circulation of the blood?"

William Harvey's theory of circulation was as controversial in its day as Copernicus' idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Unleashing intellectual anarchy, derailing established ideas, & gaining currency far beyond the walls of the College of Physicians, Harvey's revolutionary theory went on to permeate the culture and language of 17th century England.

Circulation charts the remarkable rise of the yeoman's son who demolished beliefs held by anatomists since Roman times, going on to become arguably the greatest Englishman in the history of science after Darwin & Newton.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 22mm | 250g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099552698
  • 9780099552697
  • 559,443

Review Text

"As soon as I started this book, I was gripped with curiosity"
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Review quote

An engaging and lively account of an endlessly curious man * Independent * It's a pretty gruesome story - told very well here by Thomas Wright -- William Leith * Evening Standard * A vivid biography of William Harvey, which reveals his complex character -- Patricia Fara * BBC History Magazine * Excellent and often bloodthirsty... A highly readable account of a great Englishman * Tablet * Thomas Wright's lively little book on Harvey's revolutionary idea is a panegyric to the man's whirring mind, and to the excitements of thinking more generally -- Helen Brown * Daily Telegraph * As soon as I started this book, I was gripped with curiosity -- William Leith * Spectator * Thomas Wright's lucid biography...deftly puts Harvey into his cultural context -- Hermione Eyre * Prospect * The little man of 'perpetual movement' has found a fine advocate in Thomas Wright, whose highly readable Circulation combines recent scholarship with more than a touch of drama * Times Literary Supplement * [An] acute, imaginative book -- John Carey * Sunday Times * In Circulation, Wright tells a good story, warts and all -- Duncan Wu * Independent * Thomas Wright's book opens brilliantly and bloodily and continues in the same vein...a captivating intellectually gripping journey into our country's scientific past -- Druin Burch * Mail on Sunday * A concise, skilful and eloquent book -- Charles Nicholl * Guardian * A book that combines scholarly science with narrative excitement to spectacular effect -- Mark Lawson
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About Thomas Wright

Thomas Wright was educated at Saint Thomas More RC School, Bedford, and Magdalen College, Oxford. His groundbreaking Oscar's Books (Chatto & Windus, 2008), a portrait of his hero Oscar Wilde though his reading, was hailed by Craig Brown as 'an original and eccentric landmark in the art of literary biography'. His play, Death in Genoa, was recently produced in London and broadcast on website of The Independent. He lives in Oxford.
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Rating details

61 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 20% (12)
4 49% (30)
3 28% (17)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)
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