Jan Morris, CBE, FRSL (born 2 October 1926) is a Welsh historian, author and travel writer. She is known particularly for the Pax Britannica trilogy (1968–78), a history of the British Empire, and for portraits of cities, notably Oxford, Venice, Trieste, Hong Kong, and New York City.
Born in England of an English mother and Welsh father, Morris was educated at Lancing College, West Sussex, and Christ Church, Oxford, and considers herself Welsh. She is a trans woman and was published under her birth name until 1972, when she transitioned from living as male to living as female.
In the closing stages of the Second World War Morris served in the 9th Queen's Royal Lancers, and in 1945 was posted to the Free Territory of Trieste, during the joint Anglo-American occupation.
After the war Morris wrote for The Times, and in 1953 was its correspondent accompanying the British Mount Everest Expedition, which in the event was the first to scale Mount Everest. Morris reported the success of Hillary and Tenzing in a coded message to the newspaper, "Snow conditions bad stop advanced base abandoned yesterday stop awaiting improvement", and by happy coincidence the news was released on the morning of Queen Elizabeth's coronation.
Reporting from Cyprus on the Suez Crisis for The Manchester Guardian in 1956, Morris produced the first "irrefutable proof" of collusion between France and Israel in the invasion of Egyptian territory, interviewing French Air Force pilots who confirmed that they had been in action in support of Israeli forces.
Morris opposed the Falklands War...
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