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James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker

James Miranda Barry (original 1999; edition 1999)

by Patricia Duncker

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206583,063 (3.77)8
Title:James Miranda Barry
Authors:Patricia Duncker
Info:Serpent's Tail (1999), Edition: Uncorrected Proof, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Books

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James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker (1999)


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English (4)  German (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
This is a novel of biographical historical fiction. It is based on the true story of a brilliant female physician who lived as a man under the name James Barry. The novel traces her/his life over the decades and on three continents (Europe, Africa and the Americas). There was a lot of focus on the issue of "why" did she become a he. James began cross-dressing as a child, and was encouraged to live as a man by her/his mother and her/his mother's lover, since at the time life for a woman was generally a life without choices. As a historical figure, he was known as a brilliant and excellent doctor.


3 stars ( )
  arubabookwoman | Dec 20, 2015 |
A gripping story with perfect blending of fact and fiction. Patricia Duncker creates a reliable portrait of a rather unknown person in a successful historical background - and has imagination and literary skills to throw in some romance and suspension as well. ( )
  Lady_Lazarus | Mar 13, 2010 |
If you're after a frank examination of gender and sexuality in the 17th century with a bit of historical intrigue and romance thrown in for good measure, this one's probably for you.

It might have been nice to see a bit more detail on other aspects of Barry's life (his career as a military surgeon and his family), but you can't have everything. ( )
  Clurb | Jul 10, 2007 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 033037169X, Paperback)

At the turn of the nineteenth century, ten-year-old James Miranda Barry enrolled as a medical student in Edinburgh, the start of a glorious career as a military surgeon. Across the Empire, Barry achieved fame not only as a brilliant physician, but also a legendary duellist and a celebrated social figure. But James Miranda Barry was also a woman. Her greatest achievement of all had been to 'pass' for a man for more than fifty years. Patricia Duncker's novel tells Barry's story for the first time, in a richly inventive and entertaining tale of dark family secrets, adultery, questioned paternity and colonial history. It confirms her rare talent as a writer of profound ideas and immense storytelling power. "A miracle of a book that is richly atmospheric and gains the murky excitement of a Victorian thriller." - "Sunday Times". "A marvellous work...superbly imagined and flamboyantly written." - Beryl Bainbridge.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:29 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The story of a girl raised as a boy in 19th century England.

(summary from another edition)

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