“I think the best day of my life was my last on Everest for pure abundance,” Morris wrote in “Conundrum.” “The mountain had climbed and I had already started my run down the glacier towards Kathmandu, leaving the expedition to pack its equipment behind me.”
She continued: “I heard from the radio that my news had reached London cautiously before the coronation of Queen Elizabeth. I felt like I had been crowned myself. “For a Britain that quickly lost its empire, the conquest of Everest was met with nationalist euphoria.
As a correspondent with The Times and later with The Guardian, Morris wrote about wars, famines, and earthquakes, reporting on the trial in Israel against Adolph Eichmann, the Nazi war criminal who was convicted and executed for his leading role in the extermination of millions of Jews.
It was in the early 1960s that Morris met with a prominent New York endocrinologist, Dr. Harry Benjamin, an early researcher in the field of transsexual people.
He advised Morris on a slow transition process that began with heavy doses of female hormones – about 12,000 pills from 1964 to 1972, according to the author’s own calculations. Morris wrote, “I was changing my form and transparency – also my status, maybe my place among my peers, my attitudes no doubt, the reactions I would evoke, my reputation, my lifestyle, my prospects, my feelings possibly my abilities. ”
Right from the start of Morris’ marriage, she had entrusted her feelings regarding her gender identity to her wife, Elizabeth Tuckniss, daughter of a tea-planter.