Scanty Particulars: The Scandalous Life And Astonishing Secret Of James Barry, Queen Victoria'S Most Eminent Military Doctor

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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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