Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics

Video: The Secret Life of Dr. James Barry

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What makes Dr. James Barry—born in Ireland as Margaret Bulkley, niece of the painter James Barry—such a noteworthy person besides passing for male in the company of people who did not tolerate gender fluidity? As the Irish Times writes in a review of a new biography, “her life as James Barry was a succession of audacious firsts—the first woman to become a doctor; the first to perform a successful caesarean delivery; a pioneer in hospital reform and hygiene; and the first woman to rise to the rank of general in the British Army.”

— Josh Jones writing for Open Culture

Email subscribers may click on the title of this post to watch the video.

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A circa 1814 painting of Dr James Barry, a woman who lived as a man.

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