This is an excerpt of this book
Copernicus was an awfully important person, we are told, and I don't doubt it. For he started the Copernican Revolution. But it was an odd sort of revolution. Kind of went by and nobody noticed.
Even Copernicus himself missed it. He was under the impression he'd be remembered for his theory of circularity, the theory that the planets go around in near-perfect circles. He would have, too, but for one minor drawback: planets don't around in near-perfect circles.
What he is remembered for, of course, is his discovery that the earth revolves around the sun. But neither he nor anybody else at the time thought this was much of a big deal.
As you may be aware, the Catholic Church got very upset when Galileo made the same point as Copernicus about the earth and the sun. But nobody ever bothered Copernicus. Maybe because he had the good sense to delay puplication of his theory until just before he died.
When the book finally did come out it was ignored. Astronomers would have liked it, I think, but there weren't any yet. This was a problem. Not until the next century did astronomer Johannes Kepler discover Copernicus.
Some have suggested that Copernicus isn't really the big cheese he's made out to be because he wasn't really the first person to suggest the earth revolves around the sun. In ancient times, there was a fellow named Nicetas who said the very same thing. But Copernicus was the first person to prove it. This, I believe, is important.
Did I mention that Copernicus was Polish? Nobody ever does. Newton we remember was English. Galileo we remember was Italian. But that Copernicus was Polish is some kind of big secret. Except in Poland.