Jan Morris, 1926-2020

Here is dear JM (right) in Venice after the Allied Liberation, serving with the 9th Queen’s Royal Lancers. From Conundrum: “I was temporarily detached from regimental duties to help organize the motor-boats of the place. All the best of these had been commandeered by the British Army, and our job was to see that they were properly used by the military, and that the generals and staff officers who arrived with suspicious frequency on official visits to the city were conveyed in proper style up the Grand Canal. The work was light. The spell of the place was intoxicating. Very soon I felt Venice to be mine, and I can remember still the proprietorial pleasure with which, ushering another batch of bigwigs into one of the posher boats, I took them off for their first glimpse of the Serenessima – even the sternest faces among them softening as wonder succeeded wonder, light dappled against light, and even the haughtiest deigning to respond to my glow of delight with a detectable if guarded smile.”