|My Dutch version|
The man in the red coat is the newest book by Julian Barnes. It is not a historical novel as I thought when I bought it, but it is a biography of Dr. Samuel Pozzi. This man may not be know to most of us, but the painter John Singer Sargent painted this beautiful painting of him in 1881, Dr. Pozzi at home.
We see a man who is obviously rich and also quite good-looking. He was a medical doctor, who specialised in gynaecology and who was leading in his field. He also had the rich and famous of those days in his care. The great Sarah Bernard called him: 'Dr. Dieu'.
He was everywhere the fashionable people were, he had friends in high places and attended the courtcase of Dreyfuss. When there was a ball or a duel, dr. Pozzi was likely to attend. As they said in those days: Dr. Pozzi is everywhere.
I liked how this is not a traditional biography, but it sort of writes in circles around dr. Pozzi, always coming back to him, but also telling us about the time he lived in, his friends and things that were happening.
The man in the red coat is a beautiful and very interesting book for everybody who loved 19th century history and/or France.