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Welcome to History Buff, a blog for history lovers everywhere! History Buff brings news stories about archaeology from around the world together on one site. From finds in ancient Egypt to new discoveries in anthropology, History Buff wants to know. And feel free to stop by History Buff's ** Author Interviews** for Q&As with authors of historical fiction. Enjoy!

Michelle Moran
Historical fiction author

As an historical fiction writer I am fascinated by news stories featuring the past as it's unearthed and reimagined and brought to life. I spend a
large quantity of time searching for news in archaeology and history. Once in a great while a new archaeological discovery will act as an inspiration for what I'm currently writing. But most of the time the news stories I read are simply interesting tidbits of history. Unfortunately, I have disallowed comments because I travel so frequently that I can neither monitor nor respond to them. But I would still love to share the history that I find fascinating each day. So welcome! And feel free to visit my website at www.michellemoran.com.

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3.10.2008

Dr Barry's deathbed sex secret: The extraordinary truth about a great war hero and medical pioneer

By VICTORIA MOORE

On the morning of July 25, 1865, just after dawn, a loud scream rang out around the great physician's deathbed.

Dr James Barry had not been an easy patient. A man as cantankerous as he was brilliant, few dared argue with the Inspector General of Military Hospitals, so for the past month his curtains had been kept drawn, ensuring his bedroom on London's Cavendish Square was in a state of perpetual half-light.

But now he was dead, Sophia Bishop, the charwoman sent to prepare his corpse, had no intention of complying with his final wish, which was that on no account should he be changed out of the clothes in which he had died.

Dr Barry

Under wraps: Dr James Barry was born Margaret Buckley

"The devil!" cried Sophia as she pulled up his nightshirt to wash his body and, quite literally, uncovered a secret the doctor had managed to hide for most of his life.

"It's a woman - and [noting what she took for stretch marks on his stomach] a woman that has had a child."

This truth was so scandalous to Victorian Britain that for years it was hushed up.

Dr James Barry was one of the most highly respected surgeons of his day. He had risen from hospital assistant to become the top-ranking doctor in the British Army and was known as a zealous reformer who had served in garrisons from South Africa to Jamaica.

He performed one of the first successful Caesarean sections in medical history, was summoned by Napoleon to attend to the son of his private secretary and, thanks to his careful subterfuge, was the first woman to practise medicine in Britain.

Read the rest on the DailyMail.