HARVEY, William.

The Anatomical Exercises…concerning the motion of the Heart and Blood. With the Preface of Zachariah Wood Physician of Rotterdam. To which is added Dr. James De Back his discourse of the Heart…

London: Printed by Francis Leach, for Richard Lowndes,… 1653

3 parts in 1 volume, 8vo, 20 leaves (including the first blank), 111 pages; 10 leaves, 123 pages; 1 leaf, 86 pages. Title is a cancel as in most copies, divisional titles to the second and third parts. Upper corner of the front free endpaper and the first blank leaf torn away, some very minor worming in upper inner corner towards the end touching a few letters, some light foxing and minor soiling. Original publisher’s sheep, a little cracked and marked (spine neatly repaired), two small lacunae in the leather of the lower cover and tip of one corner worn. Early signature of Robert Apsley at top of title.

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of the Exercitatio Anatomica De Motu Cordis (1628). “The most important book in the history of medicine. Harvey proved experimentally that in animals the blood is impelled in a circle by the beat of the heart, passing from arteries to veins through pores (i.e. the capillaries, seen by Malpighi with the microscope in 1660)” (G&M). It should also be regarded as “the first record of a complete biological investigation, giving a clear and accurate description of the methods employed to recognise the laws governing an important vital process, a knowledge of which had till then been befogged by mistaken conceptions…” (H.P. Bayon in Keynes). This is an unusually tall copy (158 mm.). In most copies the headlines, and sometimes even the top lines of the text, are shaved. In this copy none of the headlines is shaved, and on some leaves the lower edge is uncut. This copy has 11 of the 13 misprints listed by Keynes that were corrected as the book passed through the press. In addition, F3 is mis-signed F5. It is complete with the first blank leaf. Wing H1083. See G&M 759, Printing and the Mind of Man 127, etc. (the first edition of 1628). Keynes, Bibliography, 19.


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