Dr James Barry

A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Dr James Barry

As featured on the BBC Radio 2 Book Club The Times Book of the Week Dr James Barry was many things in his life: Inspector General of Hospitals, army surgeon, duellist, reformer, lady killer, eccentric. He performed the first successful Caesarean in the British Empire, outraged the military establishment, and gave Florence Nightingale a dressing down at Scutari. At home he was surrounded by a menagerie of animals, including a cat, a goat, a parrot and a terrier. But most astonishingly, long ago in Cork, Ireland, he had been a young girl and a mother. Drawing on a decade of research in archives all over the world, including the unearthing of previously unknown material, Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield tell the amazing true story of Margaret Anne Bulkley, the young woman who broke the rules of Georgian society to become one of the most respected and controversial army surgeons of the century. In an extraordinary life, she crossed paths with the British Empire’s great and good, royalty and rebels, soldiers and slaves. A medical pioneer, she rose to a position that no woman before her had been allowed to occupy. However, for all her successes, her long, audacious deception also left her isolated, even costing her the chance to be with the man she loved.

Dr James Barry

A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Dr James Barry

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 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.

The Secret Life of Dr James Barry

Victorian England's Most Eminent Surgeon

The Secret Life of Dr James Barry

James Barry was an innovative medical pioneer, radical humanitarian and flamboyant dandy who traversed the British Empire during the nineteenth century. Presenting a story of nineteenth century science and the mysteries of sexuality, this book aims to bring to life this enigmatic figure.

Scanty Particulars

The Life of Dr James Parry

Scanty Particulars

A biography of the enigmatic Doctor James Miranda Barry, who performed the worlds finest successful caesarean section. Posted by the army as staff surgeon, Barry spent much of his career traversing the globe and eventuall reaching the highest rank of Inspector General of hospitals. But throughout his career, Barry courted controversy - through his flamboyant dress, his dalliances with society women and his strange and enduringly intimate friendship with Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of South Africa. The mystery surrounding Barry climaxed after his death, when the servant who laid out his body made a most surprising revelation. This is the deeply personal tale of an very public person whose life unfolds amidst constant drama, a world of medical innovation and colonial adventure. A story at whose centre stands a remarkable individual whose lifetime of mystery is irresistibly alluring.

Women and War

A Historical Encyclopedia from Antiquity to the Present

Women and War


Women & Cross Dressing 1800-19

Women & Cross Dressing 1800-19

First published in 2004. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor and Francis, an informa company.

The Perfect Gentleman

The Remarkable Life of Dr. James Miranda Barry, the Woman who Served as an Officer in the British Army from 1813 to 1859

The Perfect Gentleman


Imperial Underworld

An Escaped Convict and the Transformation of the British Colonial Order

Imperial Underworld