Jan Morris: Life From Both Sides | Hardback | By Paul Clements

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Code 9781911617440

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Product Information
  • Jan Morris: Life from Both Sides
  • Pages: 608
  • Format: Hardback
  • Author: Paul Clements
  • Publisher: Scribe UK
  • Publication date: 13 October 2022
  • Category: Biography, Social and Cultural, LGBTQ
  • Size: 23.4 x 15.3 x 4.6cm
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Jan Morris: Life from Both Sides by Paul Clements


The first full account of a truly remarkable life. When Jan Morris passed away in 2020, she was considered one of Britain's best-loved writers. The author of Venice, Pax Britannica, Conundrum, and more than fifty other books, her work was known for its observational genius, lyricism, and humour, and had earned her a passionate readership around the world.

Morris's life was no less fascinating than her oeuvre. Born in 1926, she spent her childhood amidst Oxford's Gothic beauty and later participated in military service in Italy and the Middle East, before embarking on a career as an internationally fêted foreign correspondent. From being the only journalist to join the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953 to covering the trial of Adolf Eichmann, Morris's reportage spanned many of the twentieth century's defining moments.

However, public success masked a private dilemma that was only resolved when she transitioned genders in the late sixties, becoming renowned as a transgender pioneer. She went on to live happily with her wife Elizabeth in Wales for another five decades, and never stopped writing and publishing. Here, for the first time, the many strands of Morris's rich and at times paradoxical life are brought together.

Based on a wealth of interviews, archival material, and hitherto unpublished documents, Jan Morris: life from both sides portrays a person of extraordinary talent, curiosity, and joie de vivre. 


'A marvel of clarity, fluency, and (Morris's favourite word in her final days) kindness.' The Sunday Times

'A measured and elegant biography that Morris aficionados will find fascinating.' The Times

About the Author

A journalist, writer, and broadcaster, Paul Clements is the author of five travel books and a biography of Richard Hayward, adapted for BBC television. He knew Jan Morris personally for thirty years, edited a collection of tributes to her on her 80th birthday, and spent four months at Oxford University where he wrote the first critical study of her work, published by University of Wales Press (1998). A former BBC assistant editor, he is a recipient of the Reuter Journalist’s Fellowship Programme, a Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a member of the Royal Society of Literature. He lives with his wife and son in Belfast.


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