Magazine
Latest Issue

Remembering John Mortimer

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

By Colin Murphy   January 2009

“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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect