Jan Morris and the Nile Explorers! What was the link between the writer Jan Morris and this BRLSI Publication?

Jan Morris, the celebrated writer and historian, died on 20 November 2020, aged 94.
But what is the connection between Jan Morris, Bath and BRLSI?
In 2014 Jane Sparrow-Niang, then Convenor for Geography and Adventure, invited Jan to commemorate the 150th anniversary of a BRLSI meeting between Nile explorers John Hanning Speke and Richard Francis Burton on 15 September 1864. Their so-called ‘Nile Duel’ scheduled for 16 September did not happen as Speke died in an accidental shooting before the debate could take place.
Burton and Speke’s expeditions to East Africa, and their visit to Bath in 1864, are highlighted elegantly by Jan in her first volume of Pax Britannica, Heaven’s Command, published in 1973.
Sadly. Jan wasn’t able to attend the commemoration but asked Jane to send a copy of her booklet – Bath and the Nile Explorers – which BRLSI launched on the same day as the event.
Jane was thrilled to receive a thank you note from Jan to say she had enjoyed reading ‘Bath and the Nile Explorers’ and that it was now sitting in her Africa collection. What an honour!
Jan was a former resident of Bath, having lived at 9 Marlborough Buildings.
Bath and the Nile Explorers is available on the BRLSI website as a free e-book. You can click here to read it.

The printed version costs £5 and is available from BRLSI Reception when we are open.

Menu