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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clever, informative and thorough study
Though tempted to say, 'Ignore the other review on this page!' I'll be diplomatic and comment that different readers prefer different prose styles in their biographies. The Secret Life... is an utterly assured, beautifully researched, crisp, clear and thorough depiction of an extremely fascinating life. It provides very engaging background material about Barry's family,...
Published on 24 April 2011 by Pale Jesson

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn
I bought this book after reading a review of it in 'The Guardian' newspaper as I thought Dr Barrie's life sounded extraordinary, and indeed it is, but the style of writing is so dry and unengaging, that only the most dedicated of readers would be able to plough through. Not only that, but there are also so many people mentioned in the book that it is very difficult to...
Published on 13 Sep 2007 by alimarcam


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clever, informative and thorough study, 24 April 2011
This review is from: Secret Life of Dr James Barry: Victorian England's Most Eminent Surgeon (Paperback)
Though tempted to say, 'Ignore the other review on this page!' I'll be diplomatic and comment that different readers prefer different prose styles in their biographies. The Secret Life... is an utterly assured, beautifully researched, crisp, clear and thorough depiction of an extremely fascinating life. It provides very engaging background material about Barry's family, social, political and cultural circumstances - but also does not shy away from exploring deeper questions of psychology and gender... all wrapped up in a life that was one marvellous adventure and hugely successful in its own way. A brilliant and interesting book about a brilliant and interesting individual.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 11 Jun 2013
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susie (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Secret Life of Dr James Barry: Victorian England's Most Eminent Surgeon (Paperback)
Dr James Barry had a secret. He was, in fact, a woman and as such was Britain's first female doctor - something that wasn't discovered until his/her death.This book examines his fascinating life. The reason that it doesn't get the full five stars from me is because sometimes it felt a little like reading an academic text rather than a rollicking good read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Secret Life of Dr James Barry, 8 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Secret Life of Dr James Barry: Victorian England's Most Eminent Surgeon (Paperback)
The book itself is new so thereford great value. The story itself is rather dull, densely written, but I ended up feeling sorry for this obviously very mixed-up person.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, 13 Sep 2007
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This review is from: Secret Life of Dr James Barry: Victorian England's Most Eminent Surgeon (Paperback)
I bought this book after reading a review of it in 'The Guardian' newspaper as I thought Dr Barrie's life sounded extraordinary, and indeed it is, but the style of writing is so dry and unengaging, that only the most dedicated of readers would be able to plough through. Not only that, but there are also so many people mentioned in the book that it is very difficult to keep up with them and so it would have been useful if there had been a list of names at the back that one could have referred to. I gave up after 50 pages but would recommend to any insomniacs.
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