Why Is Blood Special? Changing Concepts of a Vital Humour

Pourquoi le sang est-il spécial ? L’évolution des concepts d’une humeur vitale


Topics in this page / Sujets ici

General Works / Ouvrages généraux

Antiquity to Enlightenment / Antiquité aux Lumières


France (et en français)

United States / Etats Unis


General Works / Ouvrages généraux

Bangham, Jenny. Blood Relations: Transfusion and the Making of Human Genetics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2020.

Bikfalvi, Andreas. A Brief History of Blood and Lymphatic Vessels. Cham: Springer, 2017.

Biggs, R., A.S. Douglas, R.G. Macfarlane, J.V. Dacie, et al. Christmas disease: A condition previously mistaken for haemophilia. British Med. J 27.2 (1952): 1378-82. doi: 10.1136/bmj.2.4799.1378.

Buckley, Thomas, and Anna Gottlieb, eds. Blood Magic: The Anthropology of Menstruation. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988.

Carter, K. Codell. On the Decline of Bloodletting in Nineteenth-Century Medicine. Journal of Psychoanalytic Anthropology 5 (1982): 219–34.

Cortiula, M. W. Serum and the Soluvac: The Australian Approach to Whole Blood Substitutes and Blood Transfusion During the Second World War. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 54 (1999): 413-38.

Dreyfus, Camille. Some Milestones in the History of Hematology. New York: Grune and Stratton, 1957.

Duffin, Jacalyn. Stanley’s Dream: The Medical Expedition to Easter Island. Montreal: McGill Queen’s University Press, 2019 [on rapamycyin].

Firkin, Barry G. Some Women Pioneers of Haematology. British Journal of Haematology 108 (2001): 6-12.

Freireich, Emil A., and Noreen A. Lemak. Milestones in Leukemia Research and Therapy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Garraud, O. et Jean-Jacques Lefrère. Blood and blood-associated symbols beyond medicine and transfusion: far more complex than first appears. Blood Transfusion 12.1 (2014): 14-21.

Hamilton, E.G. RHo(D) Immunoglobulin (RhoGAM): How It Came into Being,’ Obstetrics & Gynecology 77.6 (1991): 957.

Hayes, Bill. Five Quarts: A Personal and Natural History of Blood. New York: Ballantine Books, 2005.

Healy, Kieran. Last Best Gifts: Altruism and the Market for Human Blood and Organs. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Krige, John. The Politics of Phosphorus-32: A Cold War Fable Based on Fact. In Historiography of Contemporary Science, Technology, and Medicine, eds. Thomas Söderqvist and Doel Ronald E., 153-71. New York: Routledge, 2006.

Lefrère, Jean-Jacques. A historic picture: The first transfusion of citrated blood. Transfusion 51 (2011): 1140-41.

Mazumdar, Pauline M., ed. Immunology, 1930–1980: Essays on the History of Immunol­ogy. Toronto: Wall and Thompson, 1989.

Mazumdar, Pauline M., Species and Specificity: An Interpretation of the History of Immunology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

McCann, Shaun R. A History of Haematology: from Herodotus to HIV. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Mukherjee, Siddhartha. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, New York: Scribner, 2011.

Owen, Charles A. A History of Blood Coagulation, eds. William L. Nichols and E. J. Walter Bowie. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2001.

Palfreeman, Linda. Spain Bleeds: The Development of Battlefield Blood Transfusion during the Civil War. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 2015.

Pemberton, Stephen. The Bleeding Disease: Hemophilia and the Unintended Consequences of Medical Progress. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011.

Rabbitts, J. A., D.R. Bacon, G. A. Nuttall, S. B. Moore, "Mayo Clinic and the Origins of Blood Banking." Mayo Clinic Proceedings 82 (2007): 1117-8.

Radin, Joanna. Life on Ice: A History of New Uses for Cold Blood. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017.

Rather, L.J. Addison and the White Corpuscles: An Aspect of Nineteenth-Century Biology. London: Wellcome Institute of the History of Medcine, 1972 .

Rees, Anthony R. The Antibody Molecule: from Antitoxins to Therapeutic Antibodies. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Risse, Guenter B. The Renaissance of Bloodletting: A Chapter in Modern Therapeutics. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 34 (1979): 3–22.

Starr, Douglas P. Blood: An Epic History of Medicine and Commerce. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.

Wintrobe, Maxwell M. Hematology the Blossoming of a Science: A Story of Inspiration and Effort. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1985.

Wintrobe, Maxwell M., ed. Blood Pure and Eloquent: A Story of Discovery, of People, and of Ideas. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1980.


Antiquity to Enlightenment / Antiquité aux Lumières

Bildhauer, Bettina. Medieval Blood. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2006.

Moog, Ferdinand Peter, and Axel Karenberg. Between Horror and Hope: Gladiator's Blood as a Cure for Epileptics in Ancient Medicine. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 12 (2003): 137-43.

Rosner, Fred. Hemophilia in Classic Rabbinic Texts. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 49 (1994): 240–50.

Walker, Caroline Bynum. Wonderful Blood: Theology and Practice in Late Medieval Northern Germany and Beyond. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007.

Wreschner, Ernst E. et al. Red Ochre and Human Evolution: A Case for Discussion. Current Anthropology 21 (1980): 631-44.



Baird, Ronald J. “Give Us the Tools ...”: The Story of Heparin – as Told by Sketches from the Lives of William Howell, Jay McLean, Charles Best, and Gordon Murray. Journal of Vascular Surgery 11 (1990): 4–18.

Bigelow, Wilfred G. Mysterious Heparin: The Key to Open Heart Surgery. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1990.

Duffin, Jacalyn. Poisoning the Spindle: Serendipity and Discovery of the Anti-Tumour Properties of the Vinca Alkaloids,’ Pharmacy in History 44 (2002): 64-76 and 93-128.

Marcum, James A. The Development of Heparin in Toronto. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 52 (1997): 310–77.

Pelis, Kim ‘Taking Credit: The Canadian Army Medical Corps and the British Conversion to Blood Transfusion in WWI. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 56 (2001): 238-77.

Smiley, R.K. History of the Canadian Hematology Society/Société canadienne d’hématologie, 1970–1990. Unpublished paper, Royal College, Ottawa.

Toman, Cynthia. Blood Work. Canadian Nursing and Blood Transfusion, 1942-1990. Nursing History Review 9 (2001): 51-78.

Toman, Cynthia. Almonte's Great Train Disaster: Shaping Nurses' Roles and the Civilian Use of Blood Transfusion. Canadian Bulletin of Medical History 21 (2004): 145-57.


France (et en français)

Aymard, Jean-Pierre, et Philippe Renaudier. La transfusion sanguine pendant la Grande Guerre (1914 - 1918). Histoire des Sciences Médicales 50.3 (2016): 353-66.                                .

Berche, Patrick, et Jean-Jacques Lefrère, Gloires et impostures de la médecine Perrin, 2011 (surtout affaire du sang pp. 349-374).

Bernard, Jean. Hématologie et transfusion sanguine. Nouvelle revue française d’hématologie 24.5 (1982): 277-79.

Bernard, Jean. Le sang et l'histoire. Paris: Buchet-Chastel, 1983.

Bernard, Jean. La légende du sang. Paris: Flammarion, 1992.

Chin-Yee, B.H. and I.H. Chin-Yee. Blood Transfusion and the Body in Early Modern France. Canadian Bulletin of Medical History/Bulletin Canadien d'Histoire de la Medecine. 33.1 (2016): 82-102.        .

Fleck, Ludwik. Genèse et développement d'un fait scientifique, ed. Ilana Löwy; trad. Nathalie Jas. Paris: Belles Lettres, 2005.

Holmes, Frederic L. Lavoisier and the Chemistry of Life: An Exploration of Scientific Creativity. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.

Jaulin, P., et Jean-Jacques Lefrère. Les premières transfusions sanguines en France (1667-1668). Transfusion Clinique et Biologique 17.4 (2010): 205-17. .

Lefrère, Jean-Jacques, and Patrick Berche. Arnault Tzanck (1886–1954): founder of the first blood centre worldwide. Journal of Medical Biography 21.4 (2013): 211-19.

Moulin, Anne Marie ‘Reversible History: Blood Transfusion and the Spread of AIDS in France. In AIDS and the Public Debate: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives, eds. Caroline Hannaway et al., 170-86. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 1995.

Schneider, William H. Arnault Tzanck, MD (1886-1954). Transfusion Medicine Reviews 24.2 (2010): 147-50.

Teyssou, Roger. Gabriel Andral, pionnier de l'hématologie: La médecine dans le sang. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2012.


United States / Etats Unis

Fryar, Ronny A., A History of the Army Blood Program: How Leaders and Events Shaped the Way Soldiers Receive Lifesaving Blood. Fort Sam Houston, Texas: Borden Institute, US Army Medical Department Center and School, Office of the Surgeon General, 2020. For a 2012 edition click here.

Jaffe, Ernst R., and Kenneth Kaushansky. The American Society of Hematology: A Success at Age 50. Blood 111 (2008): 11-15.

Karnad, Anand B. Intrinsic Factors: William Bosworth Castle and the Development of Hematology and Clinical Investigation at Boston City Hospital. Boston: Harvard University Press for the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 1997.

Kenny, M. G. A Question of Blood, Race, and Politics. Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 61 (2006): 456-91.

Lederer, Susan E. Flesh and Blood: Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion in Twentieth-Century America. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Moloney, William C., and Sharon Johnson. Pioneering Hematology: The Research and Treatment of Malignant Blood Disorders -- Reflections on a Life's Work. Boston: Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, 1997.

Resnik, Susan. Blood Saga: Hemophilia, AIDS, and the Survival of a Community. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

Savitt, Todd Lee. Race and Medicine in Nineteenth- and Early-Twentieth-Century America. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 2007.

Swanson, Kara W. Banking on the Body: The Market in Blood, Milk, and Sperm in Modern America, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2014.

Tapper, Melbourne. In the Blood: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999.

Wailoo, Keith. Drawing Blood: Technology and Disease Identity in Twentieth-Century America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997.

Wailoo, Keith. Dying in the City of the Blues: Sickle Cell Anemia and the Politics of Race and Health. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Wapner, Jessica. The Philadelphia Chromosome: A Genetic Mystery, a Lethal Cancer, and the Improbable Invention of a Lifesaving Treatment. New York: The Experiment, 2013.

Weinberg, Eric and Donna Shaw. Blood on their Hands: How Greedy Companies, Inept Bureaucracy, and Bad Science Killed Thousands of Hemophiliacs. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2017.