Jan Morris, Celebrated Writer of Place and History, Is Dead at 94

New York Times

Jan Morris, the acclaimed British journalist, travel writer and historian who wrote about historyʼs sweep and the details of place with equal eloquence and chronicled her life as a transgender woman, died on Friday in Wales. She was 94.

As James Morris she was a military officer in one of Britainʼs most renowned cavalry regiments and then a daring journalist who climbed three-quarters of the way up Mount Everest for an exclusive series of dispatches from the first conquest of that mountain, the worldʼs highest.

She continued a brilliant writing career with reports on wars and revolutions from a score of countries, and with much-admired books like “Pax Britannica,” the first of a three-volume history of the British Empire. Ms. Morris also married and had five children.

But she became increasingly despondent over the issue of gender identity. At age 46, she underwent transition surgery, explaining the reasoning in a well-received 1974 memoir, “Conundrum,” which was written two years after the operation under a new byline, Jan Morris.

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