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Blood Work

A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution

Holly Tucker (Author, Vanderbilt University)


"Excellent…Tucker’s chronicle of the world of 17th-century science in London and Paris is fascinating." —The Economist

In December 1667, maverick physician Jean Denis transfused calf’s blood into one of Paris’s most notorious madmen. Days later, the madman was dead and Denis was framed for murder. A riveting exposé of the fierce debates, deadly politics, and cutthroat rivalries behind the first transfusion experiments, Blood Work takes us from dissection rooms in palaces to the streets of Paris, providing an unforgettable portrait of an era that wrestled with the same questions about morality and experimentation that haunt medical science today.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • May 2012
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34223-9
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 336 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Ingenious, engaging, and disquieting…Tucker masterfully narrates a rich tale about the competing passions of faith, politics, and knowledge.” — Boston Globe

“Multilayered and engrossing…a riveting story.” — Seattle Times

“Tucker’s sleuthing adds drama to an utterly compelling picture of Europe at the moment when modern science was being shaped.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Smart and addictive.” — Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook

Blood Work is fascinating and richly-researched, giving us a gory glimpse of the dawn of our scientific age.” — Carl Zimmer, author of She Has Her Mother's Laugh

Blood Work is a magnificent story of the heady days when transfusions were first being performed. There is drama, intrigue, discovery and revelation in this tale and the writing is terrific.” — Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone

Also by Holly Tucker All

  1. Book CoverCity of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris


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