Thomas Levenson

Hearts and Minds

Circulation: William Harvey’s Revolutionary Idea

By

Chatto & Windus 248pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

William Harvey’s is and ever was a great story. His discovery of the circulation of the blood is generally, and appropriately, seen as one of the heroic triumphs of the English Renaissance. Harvey famously committed the sin of empiricism, and used the evidence thus acquired to overturn the mental autocracy of mere text and vanished authorities. As Thomas Wright points out in Circulation, his biography of Harvey, the implications of his subject’s new understanding – like those of Newton or Darwin – reached well beyond the rarified conversations of the philosophers into politics, culture and society. 

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