Circulation, By Thomas Wright


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The Independent Culture

By setting William Harvey (1578-1657) in social context, Wright has produced an engaging and lively account of this endlessly curious man, who dissected his own father.

We learn how Harvey's great discovery – "I began to bethink my self if the blood might not have a circular motion" – reflected new traffic schemes that eased circulation in London streets,.

Despite his (literally) revolutionary thinking, Harvey was no political radical – he compared a motion from the House of Commons to the House of Lords with acid reflux from the stomach.