In Sir Walter Scott’s The Fair Maid of Perth; or St Valentine’s Day (1828), the resuscitated subject is referred to as a revenant, a term that Scott borrowed from Henry Thomson’s Blackwoodian tale ‘Le Revenant’ (1827), meaning ‘dead-alive’. Taking its cue from the sanguinary subtext of The Fair Maid of Perth, which is fascinated with the shedding of blood and transfusion of fluids, this chapter reads the Scottish revenant as a literary reflection on the extraordinary promise of blood transfusion in the 1820s: that death could be understood as a process, rather than an absolute state, and that medical intervention could restore life to those on the brink of death and even to the recently deceased.
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In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the publications of such academies held the same place as specialized scholarly and scientific journals do today. Many of the ideas and inventions of the great scholars of those days were first published in the Transactions or Memoirs of an Academy of Science. Such publications are not only a fundamental source for the history of science but also a goldmine for researchers in many other fields.