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The celebrated author of Rumpole of the Bailey has died at the age of 85, after packing more into one life than most men would manage in three
“I’ve got a bouncy Jesus somewhere,” said John Mortimer. He sat at a writing desk cluttered with little plastic figurines: Shakespeare, Freud, and numerous Jesuses. His eyes sparkled behind inch-thick glasses, and he slumped a little in his chair.
It was the early summer of 2005, and I had travelled from Dublin to interview him at his home in the Chilterns. It had been an early flight: his “best times” were in the morning, he later explained, when he would sit at his desk and write, a thousand words a day. In the afternoons, he would get melancholy, and in…
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