Saturday, January 17, 2009

John Mortimer - A Great British Treasure

So here I am again, reporting the loss of another great British treasure. Friday saw the death of author, raconteur and lawyer Sir John Mortimer, aged 85. Although I remember the TV series Rumpole of the Bailey, starring Leo McKern being very popular, I only started reading any of Mortimer's books very recently. I thoroughly enjoyed Summer's Lease(1988) and Felix in the Underworld(1996), and made a mental note to read more, especially the Rumpole books.

Working as a practicing lawyer, and known as a defender of free speech (because of this and his association with publisher Penguin Books, it is often mistakenly thought that he was involved with the famous Lady Chatterley's Lover case), he started writing as a kind of retirement plan. He would often write in the morning, before going off to court.

There have been some great pieces written about John Mortimer today. Among my favorites are this one by Tony Lacey, Viking Editorial Director, and this one by Valerie Grove in The Times of London.

And if, like me, you want to read more Mortimer, check out these
John Mortimer books on

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