Jan Morris is a Welsh author and trans woman. She was born in Somerset in 1926. She is a highly regarded travel writer and historian.
Morris was an intelligence officer in the second World War, serving in Italy and Palestine. At the end of the war she returned to Britain to read English at Christ Church, Oxford, and later began a career in journalism, writing for The Times. She married her partner Elizabeth in 1949, and they had five children together.
Morris began her medical transition in 1964 and in 1972, travelled to Morocco to have genital surgery. After this, she began writing work under the name Jan Morris, publishing ”Conundrum”, the same year. The book described in detail the experience of discovering and pursuing her own true identity - as a woman who just happened to have been born and brought up as male.
As the law did not allow same-sex marriages, Morris had to divorce her wife after she had surgery. They had a civil partnership in 2008.
Morris has written a range of travel books, and continues to publish excerpts on her tumblr blog.
She received a CBE in the 1999 Queen’s Birthday Honours, the Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature, and in 2008,The Times named her the 15th greatest British author since the War.
Check out more trans history on Gendered Intelligence’s ‘Trans History’ tag.
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