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William Harvey: A Life in Circulation Hardcover – October 1, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199931690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199931699
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,182,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"[Wright] absolutely does justice to his subject. Bravo." -- The Times (London, England), Vivenne Parry

'Thomas Wright's acute, imaginative book' -- Sunday Times, April 1, 2012. John Carey

'In Circulation, Wright tells a good story, warts and allEL Wright reconstructs the research ... [and] is attentive to the world in which his subject lived. The semi-medieval conditions of life at the universities of Cambridge and Padua are well-described." -- Duncan Wu, The Independent

"Thomas Wright's lucid biography deftly puts Harvey into his cultural context" -- Hermione Eyre, Prospect

"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, The Daily Telegraph (4 stars)

"As soon as I started the book, I was gripped with curiosity." -- William Leith, Spectator

"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 Birch, Mail on Sunday

"A fascinating narration of a largely untold story." -- Peter Ackroyd, British author

"[A] sprightly new study... Wright has written a concise, skillful and often eloquent book." -Charles Nicholl, The Guardian

"Wright's (Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde) "biography of an idea as much as... of a man" presents a wonderful portrait not only of physician William Harvey but also of the changing face of the study of medicine and scientific inquiry in Europe in the early 17th century...Other essays muse on broader cultural concepts such as metaphorical understandings of the heart and the extension of Harvey's ideas even beyond where he himself was comfortable. Wright pulls these threads together to create an enjoyably enlightening history of science, with more than enough background included to make this worthwhile for a general academic audience." -- Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"'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..." -- Helen Bynum, The Times Literary Supplement

"Using the doctor's surviving notes and letters as well as other contemporary sources, Wright convincingly re-creates William Harvey's England. The book's evocations of his boyhood education and college experiences give the later opposition to his theories a clearer context, and will convince readers that Harvey's concept of the heart changed people's perception of the world." --Booklist

"Wright offers an excellent account of Harvey's researches on the heart and circulation, but the real payoff comes from his reconstructions of events in Harvey's life: his days as a student in Cambridge and Padua, his medical practice, or his efforts to defend his work against critics. Wright paints a vivid picture..." -- Bill Bynum, The Lancet

"This remarkable book represents the best in historical detective work. Wright pieces together what remains of a fragmented documentary record, providing a brilliant interpretation and thorough consideration of the period in which William Harvey (1578-1657) lived." -- CHOICE

About the Author

Thomas Wright is the author of Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde, and of numerous articles for publications such as the Times Literary Supplement and the Independent. He is based in Italy and Oxford, where he teaches.

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Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By a reader on November 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is essentially identical to "Circulation: William Harvey, a Man in Motion"...I was annoyed at having wasted my money on a book which i had already read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn A. Holt on December 23, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love the personal approach to this man and his work. I feel now as if I actually knew him.
It's great to have it made clear how a scientific person of his era thinks.
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0 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Del Francis on November 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The use of a medical monopoly to bankrupt whole health budgets,and-more recently-whole nations owes much to Harvey,as does the Holocaust,plantation slavery,the American Civil War,stealing a technical theory and presenting it as your own,in addition to looting,mass rape and abuse of women,children and animals.
Unfortunately,there is hardly a hint of any of those here.That would be a total tragedy if Paul Camster had not already made those details available for us all over the last decade-in plenty of time to prevent economic(and other)meltdowns.These are Nobel-nominated in:

Apocalypse Third Edition

The Gold Tinderbox

The Messiah Stone

Voice Of The Demon

The last of these details the slave trade links,also probed in CRIME&PUNISHMENT

None of these details are technically difficult to follow-Hollywood screenwriter K.Lewis even incorporated several into a stunning screenplay featuring Harvey as an archetypal Bond-style Dr Faustus figure wreaking vengeance on Camster`s relatives and everyone else who`d help bring his allies to justice-a villain worse than any so far ever seen.
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