Author(s): Jeremy Dronfield
Dr James Barry: Inspector General of Hospitals, army surgeon, duellist, reformer, lady killer, eccentric. He performed the first Caesarean in Africa, was deported from St Helena and gave Florence Nightingale a dressing down in the Crimea. At home, he was surrounded by a menagerie of animals, including a cat, a goat, a parrot and half a dozen small terriers. Long ago, in another life in Cork, Ireland, he had also been a mother. This is the amazing true story of Margaret Ann Bulkley, the young woman who broke the rules of Georgian society to become one of the most respected surgeons of the century. Her life became one long, audacious act of deception that saw her rise to positions no woman had ever reached before, but it also left her isolated, even costing her the chance to be with the man she loved.
'This fantastic book is so much more than a biography of a very remarkable woman. The thread of her personal story weaves its way through a meticulously researched record of a fascinating period in world history...compulsive reading.' -- Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick, first female President, Royal College of Physicians 'This is a fascinating account of the life and career of Dr James Barry as a doctor working in the early nineteenth century. Although Dr Barry obtained a Diploma from this College in 1813 it only now through this book we are able to fully understand and recognise her achievements.' -- Clare Marx, President, the Royal College of Surgeons of England 'I found the book immensely enjoyable. It's a fascinating story, told with verve, sensitivity and skill - the result of an awe-inspiring amount of research and detective work, managed with delicacy and flair. I felt the book had a real feel for the times and I appreciated its firm historical grounding, and the way in which imagination and a rigorous approach to fact played so well together. A marvellous read, and a story worth telling.' -- Rodney Bolt, author of The Impossible Life of Mary Benson
Michael du Preez graduated from medical school in 1958 and went on to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. Since retiring in 2001, he's spent over a decade researching the life of Dr James Barry. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Jeremy Dronfield is a writer, biographer and novelist. He lives in Ely, Cambridgeshire.