"...a fascinating book." Choice
"Roger French gives us a learned, intellectual history of William Harvey's discovery of the circulation of the blood and its eventual acceptance. It can be used as a handy summary of Harvey's ideas and contemporary debates about them, but it also introduces an important argument about the leading place of learned medicine in the development of experimental natural philosophy....French's book ought to be welcomed both for his sound summary of the course of the early modern arguments over the motion of the heart and the circulation of the blood, and for his arguments placing Harvey (and medicine more generally) at the heart of the scientific revolution of early modern Europe." Harold J. Cook, American Historical Review
"French's careful analysis of the Demotu cordis itself, separating the discoveries of the 'forceful systole' and of the pulse from the inference to the circulation, seems especially significant for the understanding both of Harvey's discovery itself and of the many misunderstandings that followed." Isis
This is the first full study for over twenty-five years of Harvey's doctrine of the action of the heart and of the circulation of the blood. Also examined are the views of those who wrote for, and against, his philosophy.