Main content

Jan Morris

A special extended interview with travel writer Jan Morris.

In a special extended conversation with Ian McMillan, the travel writer Jan Morris looks back over a career in writing that has spanned seven decades and explains what it is that keeps her returning to her writing desk every day at the age of 91. Jan Morris has just published 'Battleship Yamato: Of War, Beauty and Irony' (Pallas Athene) - it's the story of a ship that has always fascinated her, but, as she tells Ian, more importantly it is a portrait of the ship as an allegory for war itself. Jan has always been interested in allegory, as she says 'everything turns out to have more than one meaning'.

Jan takes us inside her writing practice, including discussion of her strong musical sense (she even sings sentences aloud), her love of the exclamation mark and why three is the magic number when it comes to writing drafts. Finally, after a life-time of making connections and putting them into words, and considering what she believes is the 'self-centred' nature of her job, Jan is an advocate for 'kindness', which she calls 'the ultimate virtue'.

Presenter: Ian McMillan
Producer: Penny Boreham.

Available now

44 minutes

Last on

Fri 14 Feb 2020 22:00


  • Fri 18 May 2018 22:00
  • Fri 14 Feb 2020 22:00

Featured in...

35 Years of Spoken Word

35 Years of Spoken Word

A season of Poetry and Performance from Hull.

BBC Arts

BBC Arts

Explore the BBC Arts website and discover the best of British art and culture.

The Dylan Thomas Collection

The Dylan Thomas Collection

Listen to programmes, poetry readings and commentary from Radio 3's Dylan Thomas Day.