Venice is neither a guide nor a history book, but a beautifully written immersion in Venetian life, set against the background of the city’s past.
Analyzing the particular temperament of Venetians, as well as the city’s waterways, its architecture, its bridges, its tourists, its curiosities, its smells, sounds, lights and colours, there is scarcely a corner of Venice that Jan Morris has not investigated and brought vividly to life.
Jan Morris first visited the city as young James Morris, during World War II. As she writes in the introduction, ‘it is Venice seen through a particular pair of eyes at a particular moment – young eyes at that, responsive above all to the stimuli of youth.’ Venice is an impassioned work on this magnificent but often maddening city.
‘No sensible visitor should visit the place without it . . . Venice stands alone as the essential introduction, and as a work of literature in its own right.’ Observer
A Leap into the Light
I first met Jan Morris in the offices of the publisher Random House in New York in the early 1980s. I was a junior editor there, and was invited to meet someone I considered to be one of the most...Read more
Dominion over Palm and Pine
When people ask me what they should read about the Empire, I suggest they go to the five volumes of the Oxford History of the British Empire, where they will find a mass of recent research...Read more
Melancholy but Marvellous
The capital of nowhere – could anywhere be more tantalizing? For those of us increasingly blasé or wary about visiting ‘somewheres’ the world over, many of them the target of hordes of other...Read more