Synopses & Reviews
The fascinating novel based on Cape Town's infamous Dr. James Barry, born Margaret Anne Bulkley, an Irish girl and who changed her name, lived as a man, and revolutionized medicine in the Western world
"She died, so I might live."
Dr. James Miranda Barry was a brilliant nineteenth-century Irish physician who rose to the rank of Inspector General of military hospitals in the British colonies. Barry reformed medicine for women, slaves, and native peoples; performed the first successful Caesarian in Africa; and advocated for the humane and proper treatment of leprosy; but his achievements were overshadowed by the discovery, upon his deathbed, that the doctor was born female and had carried a pregnancy late to term. E. J. Levy's deeply researched novel brings this captivating, controversial character vividly alive, and sheds new light on Dr. Barry's momentous, gender-bending career and life.
Beginning in Cork, Ireland, the novel recounts Barry's transition from daughter into son in order to enter medical school and provide for his mother, but Barry soon embraced his newfound freedom and opportunity. From successful medical student in Edinburgh and London to eligible and quick-tempered physician in Cape Town, where Barry and the Governor were publicly accused of a homosexual affair that scandalized the colonies and nearly cost them their lives, THE CAPE DOCTOR is the story of Barry's rise from penniless Irish girl to one of the most celebrated and infamous figures of his time, a time that looks -- in its technological discoveries, revolutionary fervor, battle over gender identity, race, religious intolerance, and social unrest -- remarkably like our own.
A "gorgeous, thoughtful, heartbreaking" historical novel, The Cape Doctor is the story of one man's journey from penniless Irish girl to one of most celebrated and accomplished figures of his time (Lauren Fox, New York Times bestselling author of Send for Me).
Beginning in Cork, Ireland, the novel recounts Perry's journey from daughter to son in order to enter medical school and provide for family, but Perry soon embraced the new-found freedom of living life as a man. From brilliant medical student in Edinburgh and London to eligible bachelor and quick-tempered physician in Cape Town, Dr. Perry thrived. When he befriended the aristocratic Cape Governor, the doctor rose to the pinnacle of society, before the two were publicly accused of a homosexual affair that scandalized the colonies and nearly cost them their lives.
E. J. Levy's enthralling novel, inspired by the life of Dr. James Miranda Barry, brings this captivating character vividly alive.