This is the first full-length study of Jan Morris, one of Britain's foremost travel essayist and popular historians. It takes a critical look at a unique writer who after spending more than forty years as a man, underwent a sex-change in the 1970s and became a woman. The book outlines Morris's early life and education as James. It focuses on his early journalistic career when in 1953, as The Times correspondent, he took part in the British conquest of Everest and scooped the world with his reports. Morris's writings span nearly fifty years. Since the 1950s she has been a major figure in journalism and travel writing in both Britain and the United States. This book examines her writing technique and the style she uses in evoking the spirit of a place. It looks at her talent as a prolific author of romantic and imaginative prose in such books as The Matter of Wales, The Presence of Spain and Venice. As a historian she is best known for her trilogy on the British Empire, Pax Britannica, a powerful reconstruction of the empire and an enduring work of literary history. The book also looks at her most recent work Fifty Years of Europe.
For those coming fresh to Jan Morris, it provides an introductory overview of her style - of the unique and peculiar words she uses - and her ability, through descriptive and imaginative prose, to capture the spirit of a place.
Publisher: University of Wales Press