Historians have two objectives. They talk and write about what went on, and they try to interpret it. My own view is that when history is only factual it is dull, but that as the historian puts his emphasis on why a man or a group did or thought something and how one man's thoughts or acts influenced others, things become brighter. I wondered if the author of this biography could perceive and shed any light on the sequence of events which led Andreas Vesalius to develop his extraordinary abilities, to stand out in what he did and thought in his time, and to show that truth has no special time of its own.
Vesalius was born in 1514 and died in 1564, four hundred years before the publication of this book. We know little about his childhood in Brussels or his years as a medical student in Paris from