The Epic History of Biology

By Anthony Serafini | Go to book overview
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The Harvey Era

In 1578, one of the truly legendary figures in the story of biology was born. The fabled William Harvey, an apostle of Fabricius, was born in the quiet village of Folkestone, on the south coast of England. He was the son of Thomas Harvey, a local and highly regarded businessman. Of the elder Harvey's seven sons, five traded in turkeys, another was a physician and still another was employed by the Royal Court of James I. William Harvey's early education took place at Kings School in Canterbury. By sixteen, the elders deemed him ready to enter Cambridge University. This he did, performing brilliantly and receiving the B.A. degree in three years. From there he went to northern Italy, enrolling at the University of Padua for further tutelage. Fabricius was there and was starting to attract a sizable following, so it was the perfect atmosphere to nourish Harvey's biological studies. Fabricius, in turn, had been tutored by Falloppio, so Harvey faced the task of preserving a distinguished biological heritage -- and he did. Cambridge and Padua had had close relations since 1539, when the found


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The Epic History of Biology


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