The Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending takes us on a rich, witty tour of Belle Epoque Paris, via the life story of the pioneering surgeon Samuel Pozzi
In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days' shopping. One was a Prince, one was a Count, and the third was a commoner with an Italian name, who four years earlier had been the subject of one of John Singer Sargent's greatest portraits. The commoner was Samuel Pozzi, society doctor, pioneer gynaecologist and free-thinker - a rational and scientific man with a famously complicated private life.
Pozzi's life played out against the backdrop of the Parisian Belle Epoque. The beautiful age of glamour and pleasure more often showed its ugly side: hysterical, narcissistic, decadent and violent, a time of rampant prejudice and blood-and-soil nativism, with more parallels to our own age than we might imagine.
The Man in the Red Coat
is at once a fresh and original portrait of the Belle Epoque - its heroes and villains, its writers, artists and thinkers - and a life of a man ahead of his time. Witty, surprising and deeply researched, the new book from Julian Barnes illuminates the fruitful and longstanding exchange of ideas between Britain and France, and makes a compelling case for keeping that exchange alive. "One of his best books, very handsomely published too... [The Man in the Red Coat
is] a bravura performance, highly entertaining." -- David Sexton * Evening Standard, Book of the Week * "What a deliciously intelligent entertainment this is, couched in a prose of enviable suppleness... a master is at work here." -- Rupert Christiansen * Daily Telegraph * "Do not google Samuel Jean Pozzi. If you want to enjoy Julian Barnes's The Man in the Red Coat
- and believe me, it's teeming with delights - stay away from search engines and trust the author to tell the story in his own way... punctuated by the sound of gunshot...[this is a] brilliant, defiantly unconventional book." -- Adam Begley * Spectator * "[The Man in the Red Coat
is] top international tittle-tattle... sparkling and very enjoyable." -- Sue Prideaux * The Times * "Fascinating history, biography and philosophy rolled into one. In The Man in the Red Coat
, Barnes is the ideal guide to...a delightful amble through La Belle Epoque... a riveting dissection of an era." -- Martin Chilton * Independent * "This elegant, seductive history is a book best read in the spirit of its times. The Man In The Red Coat is less a lesson than a day-dream of France's golden heyda
The Man in the Red Coat