A reissue of Rachel Holmes's landmark biography of Dr James Barry, one of the most enigmatic figures of the Victorian age.
James Barry was one of the nineteenth century's most exceptional doctors, and one of its great unsung heroes. Famed for his brilliant innovations, Dr Barry influenced the birth of modern medical practice in places as far apart as South Africa, Jamaica and Canada. Barry's skills attracted admirers across the globe, but there were also many detractors of the ostentatious dandy, who caused controversy everywhere he went. Yet unbeknownst to all, the military surgeon concealed a lifelong secret at the heart of his identity: on his death Barry was claimed to be anatomically female and in fact a cross-dresser.
Vividly drawn and meticulously researched, The Secret Life of Dr James Barry brings to life one of the most enigmatic figures of the Victorian age, elevating its subject to a latter-day transgender icon – and is a landmark in the art of biography.