James Miranda Barry

Front Cover
Picador, 2000 - Male impersonators - 375 pages

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

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About the author (2000)

Patricia Duncker teaches writing and nineteenth-and twentieth-century literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She is the author of two previous novels, Hallucinating Foucault, which won Dillon's First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize for best first novel, and The Doctor, as well as a collection of stories, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees.

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