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Hav gives us Jan Morris at her most delightful and most suggestive. The city is a magical place - yet behind its arcane splendours are darker implications. The traditional Roof Race is peculiarly exciting, the waterfront is picturesque, the wistful call of a trumpeter from a distant rampart is wonderfully evocative, and every street corner is haunted by memories of illustrious visitors - Freud, Diaghilev, Marco Polo, Lawrence of Arabia and countless others. But Morris' visit ends in flight when an unidentified enemy arrives to seize control. When Jan Morris returns to Hav, some twenty years later, she finds that her account of her earlier visit is banned - and discovers a place that has rebuilt itself, transformed by a new energy and w dominated by a totemic tower 2000 feet tall. But as the old Hav was in many ways an allegory of the last century, so the city in its new incarnation offers less elusive hints, echoes and portents of our twenty-first century world. As a destination it remains as entertaining as ever.
Jan Morris was born in 1926 of a Welsh father and an English mother. Her books include Coronation Everest, Venice, The Pax Britannica Trilogy (Heaven's Command, Pax Britannica, and Farewell the Trumpets), and Conundrum.