To Honor Jan Morris

Jan Morris, indefatigable traveler and Venetophile, passed away this weekend on Nov. 20, aged 94. (Thank you, Bert, for letting me know.)


Image from The Guardian’s obituary

Morris was a great journalist, traveler, and writer. In this article, The Guardian provides a lovely tribute her to her writing and love of adventure. If you click on the article, be sure to also click on the link to the obituary, also wonderfully elegiac.

It’s not hard to guess why I am sharing this information with you on my blog about all things Venice. Though Morris wrote about a myriad of subjects, any Venetophile will know Morris’ book Venice and maybe also The Venetian Empire. A Venetian Bestiary is also a delight, with photos of all those weird animal carvings above doors and lintels, sculptures of various creatures, and the animals that appear in Venetian paintings. I see this book as an example of Morris’ love of whimsy.

My copies of Morris’ books

Besides being an adventurous traveler, Morris was also a trailblazer for transgender people. Having gender affirmation surgery in 1972, she very publicly embraced her true self and modeled this for others. Thank you for helping to pave this path for others who followed.

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
This entry was posted in Venice, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to To Honor Jan Morris

  1. Cecelia Pierotti says:

    Makes me wish I could get to my storage space in California to pull all these books out and reread them! RIP cara…..What a trailblazing model on all fronts!

    • I just started reading (rereading? not sure if I read it before!) Morris’ Bestiary. Here’s a tidbit for you to enjoy since you can’t get to your own books–her description of Venice’s gondolas-like-water-horses:
      “…for the memory of the living horse survives in the black shapes of the gondolas, with their horse-heads of steel at the prow: when they are moored they look like restive hunters in their stalls, all high-strung-pent-up elegance, and when they are out on the lagoon they leap, and toss, and bound over the waves like thoroughbreds.”

  2. What an amazing woman. That you so much for sharing her fascinating story.

  3. blynndav says:

    Thank you for sharing. Like you, I fell in love with Venice through Jan Morris’ eyes.

  4. Thank you all for sharing your responses to Morris’ passing. Great writing can truly bring people together.

  5. I found this blog post, which features a wonderful photo and quote from when Jan Morris (then James) first arrived in Venice:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s