Early praise for Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time

Dr James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time by Dr. Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield published by Oneworld on 25th August has already received glowing reviews.

“Jeremy Dronfield, using a novelist’s touch for contemporary detail, has produced an elegant and sensitive biography….Du Preez and Dronfield have done Margaret Buckley and her alter ego proud in this absorbing book”. Times, Book of the Week

“The life of Dr James Barry was and is by every measure so remarkable that at each turn of this quite gripping biography I found myself gasping in disbelief….The great pleasure of this book is its detail. It is one thing to re-create a life, but quite another to fill in the background as vividly as the authors have done, fleshing out the personalities of walk-on characters and giving colour and context to Barry’s world – or worlds. Wherever their subject goes, whether it is Margate or Mauritius, they make those places come alive with contemporary descriptions and reports. Their research is authoritative and prodigious, giving the reader glowing pictures of, for example, the rackety artistic circles of London in 1802, the horrors of a military hospital in wartime, travelling down a sheer South African gorge in a cart, visiting St Helena in the days of Napoleon, and being on a ship in which a smallpox infection breaks out. When you have all this to play with, the book’s occasional novelistic flourishes are surplus to requirements.” Literary Review

About article author


Michael Du Preez

Capetonian by birth and education,  Michael graduated M.B., Ch.B. from the University of Cape Town in 1958, and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1963.   He specialised in Urology, training at St. Thomas', the Institute of Urology and Great Ormond Stree...More about Michael Du Preez