The Works of William Harvey (Classics in Biology and Medicine)

The Works of William Harvey (Classics in Biology and Medicine) - Some people study to achieve success. Or fame. Or a sense of accomplishment. Or to post stuff on Goodreads. Harvey is one of those rare individuals who studied simply out of his love of learning. After his publication of the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals, he faced severe criticism for his proposition that the arteries and veins formed a closed loop for blood circulation in the body. He refused to accept the millennia of established authority starting with Aristotle and Galen regarding the diffusion of blood through the body. Instead, he detailed his observations and experiments from which he drew his arguments.

Afterward, and years later, a good friend of his had an opportunity to review his collection of other observations which would later be published as On Generation. Reluctantly, Harvey agreed for the world to have access to his private stash of notes and learning. A world which had punished him before for his diligence and vision.

In many ways, for the modern reader (and most likely lay reader), the man is more interesting than the works. Even if we can’t follow the significance of all of Harvey’s observations, we can appreciate the discipline and drive needed to create these volumes.