'What I am really anxious to hear is the final cause of your monstrous fiction. For your false invention seems to have no purpose. What reason can you give me for the circulation of the blood?'William Harvey's theory of circulation was as controversial in its day as Copernicus' idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Unleashing intellectual anarchy, derailing established ideas, & gaining currency far beyond the walls of the College of Physicians, Harvey's revolutionary theory went on to permeate the culture and language of 17th century England.Circulation charts the remarkable rise of the yeoman's son who demolished beliefs held by anatomists since Roman times, going on to become arguably the greatest Englishman in the history of science after Darwin & Newton.
For Wilde, as for many people, reading could be as powerful and transformative an experience as falling in love. He devoured books, talked books, luxuriated in books and lavished books on his friends- they played, too, a vital part in his seductions of young men. Oscar's Books tells the story of Wilde's life through his reading, from his childhood in Dublin, where he was nurtured on Celtic myth, Romantic poetry and Irish folklore; through his undergraduate years in which he built his intellect out of books; to prison, where his friends supplied him with literature which saved his sanity; to his final years in Paris where he consoled himself with old favourites such as Flaubert and Balzac.Fresh, utterly engaging and wholly original, Oscar's Books is an entirely new kind of biography.