Two views of a new Jan Morris biography

A new unauthorised biography of Jan Morris by the writer and broadcaster Paul Clements, Jan Morris: Life from Both Sides (Scribe, £19.99),  was reviewed in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday by Jasper Rees, who said it was “as much encyclopaedia as biography — ‘a heavy doughnut’ as Morris once said of a book by Laurens van der Post”. John Walsh, who reviewed the biography for The Sunday Times on October 2, took a different view: it was, he reckoned, “a marvel of clarity, fluency and (Morris’s favourite word in her final days) kindness”.

Sara Wheeler is currently researching the official biography, due for publication in 2026, to mark the centenary of Morris’s birth.

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