Julian Barnes takes us on a rich tour of the French Belle Epoque, its heroes, villains, writers, artists and thinkers in the company of pioneering surgeon Samuel Pozzi. Pozzi was a society doctor and free-thinker whose complicated private life played out against the backdrop of the Parisian age of glamour and decadence. Taking Singer Sargent’s painting of Pozzi as his starting point, Julian Barnes’ new book brilliantly combines his imaginative flair with characteristic perceptive observations on art and deep research that illuminates the interchange of ideas between Paris and London at the turn of the century.
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