Often hailed as one of the best travel books ever written, Venice is neither a guide nor a history book, but a beautifully written immersion in Venetian life and character, set against the background of the city's past. Analysing the particular temperament of Venetians, as well as its 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 of Venice 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.
Jan Morris's collection of travel writing and reportage spans over five decades and includes such titles as Sydney, Coronation Everest, Hong Kong, Spain and Manhattan '45. Since its first publication, Venice has appeared in many editions, won the W.H. Heinemann award and become an international bestseller.
'The best book about Venice ever written' Sunday Times
'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
Jan Morris was born in 1926 of a Welsh father and an English mother, and when she is not travelling she lives with her partner Elizabeth Morris in the top left-hand corner of Wales, between the mountains and the sea. Her books include Coronation Everest, Venice, The Pax Britannica Trilogy (Heaven's Command, Pax Britannica, and Farewell the Trumpets), and Conundrum. She is also the author of six books about cities and countries, two autobiographical books, several volumes of collected travel essays and, more recently, the unclassifiable Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. A Writer's World, a collection of her travel writing and reportage from over five decades, was published in 2003. Hav, her novel, was published in a new and expanded form in 2006 and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. Her most recent book, Contact!, about the people she encountered on her many travels, was published in 2009.