The trailblazing writer was loved and revered by all those who followed in her footsteps. Here they describe just what she meant to them
Jan Morris was a dazzling historian who was constantly fascinated by the new. She could throw off precise and stunningly compact reports – on the trial of Eichmann or her interview with Che Guevara, for this paper and many others – and then compose 30-page master portraits of cities for Rolling Stone. She was mellifluous and mischievous at once, and perhaps an ideal chronicler of the 20th century, as a classical Brit who nonetheless sustained an undeluded love for brash and forward-looking America. Thousands of us recognised the beauty of her watercolour prose, but what gave it fibre was its unsurpassable acuity. London for her was “hard as nails,” Kyoto a city of ghosts.