Cover image for With a silent companion
With a silent companion
Town, Florida.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Red Deer, Alta. : Red Deer Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
176 pages ; 21 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Inspired by the true story of Margaret Ann Bulkley, a young woman born in nineteenth-century Ireland. Her heart broken by the constant threat of poverty but her spirit awakened by the challenge of two gentlemen. Margaret enrolls in medicine at Edinburgh University and, after years of dedicated study, becomes a surgeon. It is a story of struggle and triumph made all the more exceptional because Margaret Anne Bulkley does it disguised as a man.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. In the year 1806, Margaret Barry, a bright, ambitious Irish girl, arrives in London, hoping for financial help from her uncle, James Barry. Barry is on his deathbed, but two of his friends offer Margaret the chance to enter medical school. Margaret takes up the challenge, entering Edinburgh University as "James Miranda Barry." Eventually she earns her degree and becomes a British Army surgeon, rising to the top of her profession--and keeping her real identity secret till death. Based on a true story, this historical novel is obviously a labor of love for the author, who has done considerable research. But the plot drags at times, the dialogue is often stilted, and some details about Dr. Barry's life (an autopsy showed that she had born a child), her discoveries, and years in retirement have been omitted. Even so, the book gives a strong sense of the period and will introduce readers to a remarkable, enigmatic woman who had a successful career despite great difficulties. The book may not circulate without some pushing, but it won't easily be forgotten by those who read it. --Jean Franklin

Table of Contents

Author's Acknowledgments
Author's Note
Chapter 1 Corkp. 7
Chapter 2 Londonp. 22
Chapter 3 Miranda and Buchanp. 44
Chapter 4 Edinburghp. 61
Chapter 5 Granduationp. 75
Chapter 6 Cape Townp. 92
Chapter 7 The Rumourp. 117
Chapter 8 The Challengep. 130
Chapter 9 The Nightingale Encounterp. 143
Chapter 10 Canadap. 154
Epiloguep. 172