The Diary of William Harvey: The Imaginary Journal of the Physician Who Revolutionized Medicine

Jean Hamburger, Author, Barbara Wright, Translator Rutgers University Press $35 (255p) ISBN 978-0-8135-1825-1
Harvey, the 17th-century English physician and anatomist who was one of the first to discover blood circulation, comes to life in this absorbing work. The late Hamburger ( Discovering the Individual ) offers an intimate portrait of Harvey and lets his subject tell his story in the form of a diary written during Harvey's later years. Based on historical research but delivered with an element of poetic license (as when Harvey quotes a ``Chinese saying'' that comes from Eugene Ionesco), this diary shows us a brilliant yet very human figure who was actively engaged with the remarkable events and personalities of his era. A staunch royalist (a matter more of ``fidelity of heart'' than politics), he is physician to King James I and King Charles I. He is friends with Thomas Hobbes, meets Ben Jonsonstet and accompanies Inigo Jones to Stonehenge to figure out who built it. He expresses fierce annoyance at those who reject his findings on circulation because scientific evidence can demonstrate their value, and yet he mentions no qualms about the efficacy of the healing ``touch'' King Charles offers to those with scrofula. Inconsistencies and all, Harvey is worth knowing. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
Paperback - 255 pages - 978-0-8135-1826-8
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