The Man in the Red Coat

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes Jonathan Cape

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.

Publisihed by Jonathan Cape in November 2019, Alfred A. Knopf in February 2020 and Random House Canada in February 2020.



NOTE: When possible, editions are linked to entries in the online Julian Barnes Bibliography. These entries feature multiple images of the book and additional bibliographic details.
English Editions

The Man in the Red Coat. London: Jonathan Cape, 2019. [Uncorrected Proof].

The Man in the Red Coat. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2020. [Uncorrected Proof].

The Man in the Red Coat. Toronto: Random House Canada, 2020.

The Man in the Red Coat. London: Vintage, 2020.

English Editions

Catalan - L’home de la bata vermella. Barcelona: Angle Editorial, 2021. Translated by d’Alexandre Gombau i Arnau.

Croatian - Čovjek u crvenom kaputu. Zagreb: Opus Gradna, 2021. Translated by Tomislav Zagoda.

Dutch - De man in de rode mantel. Amsterdam: Atlas Contact, 2019. Translated by Ronald Vlek.

French - L’homme en rouge. Mercure de France, 2020. Translated by Jean-Pierre Aoustin. Other editions: Folio, 2020.

German - Der Mann im roten Rock. Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2021. Translated by Gertraude Krueger. Other editions: Büchergilde Gutenberg, 2021 [Book Club]; btb, 2022.

Greek - ΑΝΔΡΑΣ ΜΕ ΚΟΚΚΙΝΟ ΜΑΝΔΥΑ. Athens: Metaixmio, 2020. Translated by Κατερίνα Σχινά [Katerina Schina].

Italian - L’uomo con la vestaglia rossa. Einaudi, 2020. Translated by Daniela Fargione. Other edition: Mondolibri, 2021 [Italian Book Club].

Portuguese - O homem do casaco vermelho. Rio de Janeiro: Rocco, 2021. Translated by Léa Viveiros de Castro.

Serbian - Čovek U Crvenom Kaputu. Beograd: Geopoetika, 2020. Translated by Zoran Paunović.

Spanish - El hombre de la bata roja. Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 2021. Translated by Jaime Zulaika.

Translated Editions


Read an excerpt on the publisher's website or in The New York Times


16 April 2020 - "Julian Barnes Tells His Neighbor Rachel Whiteread What Pisses Him Off About Grief" Interview Magazine.


23 April 2020 - Martin Gelin, "Julian Barnes's Anti-Brexit Belle Époque," Los Angeles Review of Books.

18 February 2020 - Parul Sehgal, "Julian Barnes, Playing Against Character, Writes About a Character of Action and Appetite," New York Times.

18 February 2020 - Richard M. Cho, "A Sane Man in a Demented Age: On Julian Barnes’s The Man in the Red Coat," Los Angeles Review of Books.

18 February 2020 - Heller McAlpin, "The Man In The Red Coat Makes For A Fascinating Companion," NPR.org.

14 February 2020 - Sue Roe, "The Toast of Belle Époque Paris," The Wall Street Journal.

13 February 2020 - Michael Upchurch, "A Portrait of a Paradox," The Boston Globe.

15 December 2019 - Kirkus Review ["Finely honed biographical intuition and a novelist’s sensibility make for a stylish, engrossing narrative."].

29 November 2019 - Peter Craven, "Julian Barnes Takes a Trip Back to the Glories of the Belle Epoque," Sydney Morning Herald.

15 November 2019 - Rosemary Goring, "'Who is the man in the red coat?' Rosemary Goring on Julian Barnes' new book about the Belle Epoque," The Herald (Scotland).

14 November 2019 - Houman Barekat, "Julian Barnes Calls out the ‘Deluded, Masochistic’ Brexit Project," The Irish Times.

10 November 2019 - Noel Malcolm, "Samuel Pozzi: The Must-have Gynaecologist of the ‘Belle Époque’," The Telegraph.

8 November 2019 - Sarah Collins, "All That Glitters ...," theartsdesk.com.

7 November 2019 - David Sexton, "Book of the Week," Evening Standard.

6 November 2019 - Tessa Hadley, "A Belle Epoque Womaniser," The Guardian.

2 November 2019 - Adam Begley, "Meet Dr Love: The Infallibly Seductive, Pioneering French Gynaecologist," The Spectator.

1 Noember 2019 - Boyd Tonkin, "Love and Art in the Belle Époque," The Financial Times.

27 October 2019 - Tim Adams, "Out of the Surgery, Into the Boudoir," The Observer.