Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours

is the first book ever to recount the full history in the West of the system of the four humours - blood, phlegm, choler, melancholy - fluids within the organism that, for 2500 years, were deemed to determine health and illness, mood and temperament.

It takes the reader from ancient Greece to today`s world, via the middle ages, the Renaissance, the era of scientific revolutions, the period of the Enlightenment, and the beginning of neuroscience in the 19th century.

The humoural system theoretically disappeared with the advent of modern medicine, but Passions and Tempers describes the surprising and fascinating guises it takes in our day.

Here you can read the reviews, buy the book, find out more about the author and the humours, and get answers to questions about the book. You can also discover examples of how to translate humours back into our modern lives, by looking up humoural recipes and remedies, and taking a humoural personality test.

A New York Times Book Review Editor`s Choice (July 2007).

One of the best non-fiction books of 2007, Washington Post.

Listen to "In our time" on humours, BBC Radio 4.

Listen to an interview with Lewis Lapham, Bloomberg Radio.

Watch an author Talk @ Google.

Italian edition: Gli Umori - Sangue, flemma, bile. Buy it at BOL or IBS



Go to the author`s website


Order the book from:
Amazon US
, Amazon UK, Amazon IT


See the book at Bompiani


Gli umori. Sangue, flemma, bile