Conundrum (European Road Maps) by Jan Morris

By Jan Morris

The author Jan Morris has led a rare lifestyles. possibly her such a lot outstanding paintings is that this sincere account of her ten-year transition from guy to lady - its pains and joys, its frustrations and discoveries.

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Conundrum (European Road Maps)

The author Jan Morris has led a rare existence. probably her so much extraordinary paintings is that this sincere account of her ten-year transition from guy to lady - its pains and joys, its frustrations and discoveries.

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I 21 have thought about it for four decades since t h e n , and t h o u g h I know n o w that such an absolute fulfilment can never b e achieved—for n o m a n ever b e c a m e a mother, even miraculously—still I have reached n o other conclusion. 22 4 The colonel's greeting—as to soldiering—impostor in the mess— Otto—non-persons I was still only a boy, still unformed, w h e n walking into the colonel's tent o n the banks of the Tagliamento river in Venezia Giulia, I found the c o m m a n d i n g officer of the 9th Q u e e n ' s Royal Lancers rising to his feet to greet m e .

T h e r e was a short staggered pause. ' W h o was JorrocksT an answering voice echoed incredulously. ' N o b o d y m i n d e d if you p u r s u e d interests altogether your own; b u t it was generally u n d e r s t o o d that if you did n o t read Surtees, did not care m u c h for horses, h a d n o t b e e n to an acceptable school and would rather b e in the Royal Tank Regiment any­ way, then at least you would have the sense and taste to keep quiet about it. Physical exhibitionism was tolerated, mental display was unpopular: t h e regiment was full of highly intelli­ gent m e n , b u t the casual visitor might n o t have guessed it, for their conversation was deliberately muffled, a n d it was only in the seclusion of private talk that one tasted its real quality.

A sense of heritage accordingly b o u n d the officers one to another, and m a d e us all conscious of lance and p l u m e , saddle-carbine and cuirass. T h e s e were the Delhi Spearmen: and though the details of the regimental history were less t h a n vivid to m o s t of us, still there h u n g always around o u r mess a general suggestion of glory (not that anyone would have been so insensitive as to m e n t i o n it, for if there was one attribute the 9th Lancers were n o t anxious to display, it was keenness).

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