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De Motu Cordis (1628)

Lower Library K.18.11

William Harvey was born in Folkestone in 1578. Having attended the King's School in Canterbury he won a scholarship to Gonville & Caius College in Cambridge for six years, from 1593-1599. He completed his studies in Padua, and received his doctorate in 1602, after which he returned to England. During his studies he learned the accepted thinking on the way blood circulated in the body, based largely on Galen's theory which was that blood was formed in the liver and carried to the heart and other parts of the body where it was absorbed.

Harvey began to question this view, and by carrying out anatomical demonstrations and observations he began to discover the true purpose of the heart muscle in relation to the movement of blood around the body. Through scientific argument and experimentation he formulated his theory that the heart pumped the blood around the body in a circular course; an idea which was considered to be revolutionary at that time.

This modest, slim volume was first published in Frankfurt in 1628.

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