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Fisher's Face Paperback – 19 Apr 2007
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Fisher's Face by Jan Morris is a biography of Lord Fisher, Edwardian socialite and founder of the World War I British Navy.
About the Author
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, most recently, the unclassifiable Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. Hav, a novel, will be published by Faber in 2006.
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I learnt a lot, not just about her infatuation with Fisher, but also that HMS Dreadnought was precisely the same length as Westminster Abbey, and therefore 'bound to be all right'.
This is such a nice book. It is irritating that the Faber&Faber paperback version has rather bad printing, with many a line with all the letters shifted a pixel above/below some strange equator - I almost subtracted a star for that. But this writing surely deserves five, even when it is rather badly reproduced. When she talks about HMS Renown, 'suavely awned', or about William Watson, 'one of the less immortal of the Edwardians', I am charmed.
Churchill said that being with Fisher was like breathing ozone, and Morris conveys that very well. By the time, towards the end, when she writes about 'our Jacky', she's absolutely right; she has dragged you to her private window on this amazing person, she has shared that window with you, and she has utterly convinced you. Well - she did me. A delight!