An explosive story of colonial life, nineteenth-century science, and the mysteries of sexuality, Rachel Holmes's Scanty Particulars transcends the genre of biography. Through prodigious research and vivid storytelling, Holmes brings to life one of the most enigmatic figures of his time.
In the 1820s, Dr. James Barry burst into the English establishment from nowhere. He landed in Cape Town and became the leading military doctor in the South African colony, working tirelessly to improve the conditions of free and enslaved women, lepers, and the indigent. Barry's further travels included postings to the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and Canada. In his career, he collided with some of the leading figures of the age, and his exploits were regarded with fascination by Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.
Barry was a flamboyant bon vivant: fashionably dressed, flirtatious, and always accompanied by a poodle. Wherever he went, he sparked gossip, made enemies, and inspired relentless curiosity about his identity--curiosity that erupted into international scandal upon Barry's death, when his maidservant discovered the truth about this brilliant but mysterious icon of the Victorian age.
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"[A] fascinating exploration of the life of James Barry, a British doctor who, as [Rachel] Holmes shows, was one of the leading and most controversial innovators of nineteenth-century medicine . . . As compelling as the life it describes."
"Freud would have had a field day with James Barry. . . . [Scanty Particulars is] a fascinating depiction of the Victorian era."
"From time to time a truly original piece of research comes to life. Scanty Particulars is not only a wonderful read; it captures the essence of one of the most enigmatic characters of the nineteenth century. The fabulous Dr. Barry is once again the center of speculation."
--Amanda Foreman, bestselling author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
"James Barry is the kind of character you think must have been dreamed up in an exotic collaboration between Joseph Conrad and Oscar Wilde. Rachel Holmes's Scanty Particulars is admirable and dramatic history, and suggests as well a subtle fable of colonialism and its discontents."
--Ron Rosenbaum, author of Explaining Hitler and The Secret Parts of Fortune
"At last, that fascinating but nebulous figure James Barry has found the perfect historian. Impeccably researched and written with spirit, Scanty Particulars is more than a biography of an extraordinary person; it is an anatomy of Victorian sexuality."
--Roy Porter, author of The Greatest Benefit to Mankind
"This clever and engaging book tells a fascinating story, and raises some vexing questions on gender as the disputed territory where physiology and ideology blur."
--Jeanette Winterson, The Times (London)
Rachel Holmes attended King's College, London, and received her doctorate from Queen Mary and Westfield College, London. She has held professorships at the University of London and the University of Sussex. She judged the 2000 Whitbread Novel Award and the 2001 Orange Prize for Fiction. She writes for many newspapers and journals, and is a frequent broadcaster. She resides in London, where she is completing a biography of Saartjie Baartman, the Hottentot Venus.
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Descrizione libro Random House Inc, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 2003. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. 1st Edition. New. "A Fascinating Exploration Of The Life Of James Barry, A British Doctor Who Was One Of The Leading And Most Controversial Innovators Of Nineteenth-Century Medicine." -- Publisher's Weekly. Codice libro della libreria 015376
Descrizione libro Random House, 2003. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110375505563
Descrizione libro Random House, 2003. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. First. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0375505563