John Mortimer - Author

About the Author

John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist and former practising barrister. During the war he worked with the Crown Film Unit and published a number of novels, before turning to theatre. He has written many film scripts, and plays both for radio and television, including A Voyage Round My Father, the Rumpole plays, which won him the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. His many collections of Rumpole stories are published in Penguin, as well as a volume of his plays, two volumes of his acclaimed autobiography, Clinging to the Wreckage and Murderers and Other Friends, and In Character and Character Parts, which contain interviews with some of the most famous men and women of our time. His novels include Summer's Lease, Paradise Postponed , Titmuss Regained (its sequel), Under the Hammer, all of which have been made into successful television series, Charade, Dunster, and Felix in the Underworld.

 

John Mortimer died in 2009.

Featured books by John Mortimer

Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders

Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2007

Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders - a classic story starring John Mortimer's most iconic character 'Rumpole, like Jeeves and Sherlock Holmes, is immortal' P. D James, Mail on Sunday 'I thank heaven for small mercies. The first of these is Rumpole' Clive James, Observer Horace Rumpole - cigar-smoking, claret-drinking, Wordsworth-spouting defender of some unlikely clients - often speaks of the great murder trial which revealed his talents as an advocate and made his reputation down at the Bailey when he was still a young man. Now, for the first time, the sensational story of the Penge Bungalow Murders case is told in full: how, shortly after the war, Rumpole took on the seemingly impossible task of defending young Simon Jerold, accused of murdering his father and his father's friend with a German officer's gun. And how the inexperienced young brief was left alone to pursue the path of justice, in a case that was to echo through the Bailey for years to come. John Mortimer's hilarious Rumpole, which fans of Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse will love, sees the magician of the Old Bailey at his unpredictable and brilliant best. Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional political trilogy of Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by John Mortimer

Rumpole for the Defense

Rumpole for the Defense

Author: John Mortimer Format: Ebook Release Date: 23/02/2012

Whether he's quoting Wordsworth or having words with a particularly obtuse judge, Horace Rumpole always knows what he's doing--even if no one else does. In this delightful collection of stories, Rumpole straightens everyone out in the shocking case of a "e;bent copper,"e; gallantly teaches a professor of moral philosophy about blackmail, consults with the dear departed when a will is contested, traces the path of true love when a doctor is accused of murder, and (in the name of duty, of course) drinks to excess with a teetotaling member of the prosecution. There is even a rare moment or two when Rumpole finds himself appreciative of "e;She Who Must Be Obeyed"e; (Mrs. Rumpole), when she inadvertently provides some essential clues that clinch his cases. Stories in this collection include "e;Rumpole for the Defense,"e; "e;Rumpole and the Gentle Art of Blackmail,"e; "e;Rumpole and the Dear Departed,"e; "e;Rumpole and the Rotten Apple,"e; "e;Rumpole and the Expert Witness,"e; "e;Rumpole and the Spirit of Christmas,"e; and "e;Rumpole and the Boat People."e;

Trials of Rumpole

Trials of Rumpole

Author: John Mortimer Format: Ebook Release Date: 17/01/2012

Horace Rumpole-who never prosecutes, whose fame rests on an infinite knowledge of blood and typewriters, whose court scenes are proverbial, whose home is ruled by Mrs. Rumpole ("e;She Who Must Be Obeyed"e;)-is back on the defense, as irreverent, as iconoclastic, as claret-swilling, poetry-spouting, impudent, witty, and cynical as ever. This time the judge-debunking barrister-at-law is embroiled with a minister accused of shoplifting, an actress accused of murder, and a racist candidate for Parliament, with art theft and mistaken identity thrown in for good measure. The result is a delightful excursion into hidden corners of the British judicial system served up in typically colorful Rumpole style. Stories include: Rumpole and the Man of God, Rumpole and the Showfolk, Rumpole and the Fascist Beast, Rumpole and the Case of Identity, Rumpole and the Course of True Love, and Rumpole and the Age for Retirement.

Mercantile Manchester, Past and Present ... with ... Illustrations.

Mercantile Manchester, Past and Present ... with ... Illustrations.

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2011

Mercantile Manchester, Past and Present ... with ... Illustrations. by John Mortimer

CLINGING TO THE WRECKAGE

CLINGING TO THE WRECKAGE

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2010

Clinging to the Wreckage is the first part of John Mortimer's acclaimed autobiography. Here he recounts his solitary childhood in the English countryside, with affectionate portraits of his remote parents - an increasingly unconventional barrister father, whose blindness must never be mentioned, battling earwigs in the mutinous garden, and a vague and endlessly patient mother. As a boy dreaming of a tap-dancing career on the stage and forming a one-boy communist cell at boarding school, his father pushes him to pursue the law, where Mortimer embarks on the career that was to inspire his hilarious and immortal literary creations. Told with great humour and touching honesty, this is a magnificent achievement by one of Britain's best-loved writers.

Paradise Postponed

Paradise Postponed

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/11/2010

When Simeon Simcox, a socialist clergyman, leaves his entire fortune not to his family but to the ruthless, social-climbing Tory MP Leslie Titmuss, the Rector's two sons react in very different ways. Henry, novelist and former 'angry young man' turned grumpy old reactionary, decides to fight the will and prove their father was insane. Younger brother Fred, a mild-mannered country doctor, takes a different approach, quietly digging in Simeon's past, only to uncover an entirely unexpected explanation for the legacy. An exquisitely drawn saga of ancient rivalries and class struggles, featuring a glorious cast of characters, Paradise Postponed is a delicious portrait of English country life by a master satirist.

Rumpole at Christmas

Rumpole at Christmas

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/10/2010

Rumpole at Christmas - the hilarious festive stories of John Mortimer's greatest character 'Without Rumpole, the world would be a poorer place' Daily Mail Horace Rumpole is not overfond of the rituals of Christmas: turkey, tinsel and the like. But happily the festive season is not one respected by the criminal fraternity; meaning that celebrations in the Rumpole household are frequently disturbed in most-welcome ways. There's the suspicious Father Christmas at Equity's Court's festive party. The actor who goes missing from the panto on the night of a major crime. As well as the body cluttering up the health farm (where the great barrister is gloomily restricted to a diet of yak's milk and steamed spinach to please She Who Must Be Obeyed). These seven wonderful Rumpole stories show the great man at his sharpest, wittiest and best. Readers of Sherlock Holmes, P.D. James and P.G. Wodehouse will love this book. 'One of the great comic creations of modern times' Evening Standard 'There is a truth in Rumpole that is told with brilliance and grace' Daily Telegraph 'Rumpole remains and absolute delight' The Times Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional political trilogy of Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

Rumpole's Last Case

Rumpole's Last Case

Author: John Mortimer Format: Ebook Release Date: 23/06/2009

Rumpole is on the job again, bringing along his taste for claret, his penchant for poetry, and his reputation for a good story. These seven irresistible stories run the gamut from simple thievery to murder and espionage. Rumpole recalls three delightful battles with his arch-enemy, the Mad Bull, indulges his knowledge of bloodstains and typewriters, and uses the refined taste of a garage mechanic to discover the reasons for the robbery of a case of wine. As usual, Rumpole's biting wit and benevolent ideas of justice push the Mad Bull to the edge of retaliation, and it is only through some last minute diplomatic intervention that Rumpole lives to argue another day.

The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole

The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2008

The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole - a delightful novel starring John Mortimer's iconic character 'One of the great comic creations of modern times' Evening Standard ASBOs may be the pride and joy of New Labour, but they don't cut much ice with Horace Rumpole - he takes the old-fashioned view that if anyone is going to be threatened with a restriction of their liberty then some form of legal proceeding ought to be gone through first. Not that Hilda agrees, of course, but she's too busy completing her memoirs to dissuade him from taking an interest when one of the Timson children is given an ASBO for playing football in the street. And pretty soon he realizes something fishy is going on. Why are the residents pursuing their vendetta against the Timson boy quite so strongly? Could they have a sinister reason for not wanting him on their street? John Mortimer's hilarious Rumpole novel, which fans of Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse will love, sees the magician of the Old Bailey at his unpredictable and brilliant best. Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional trilogy about the inexorable rise of an ambitious Tory MP in the Thatcher years (Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets) has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with his autobiography Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

Summer's Lease

Summer's Lease

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/2008

Summer's Lease - the classic, international bestselling novel by John Mortimer 'Amusing, entertaining ... and a cracking good read' Sunday Express 'And summer's lease hath all too short a date' - Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare It's high summer when Molly Pargeter drags her amiably bickering family to a rented Tuscan villa for the holidays. Molly is sure that the house is the perfect setting for their three-week getaway, but soon she becomes fascinated by the lives of the absent owners - and things start to go horribly wrong ... 'With a cosy fluency of wit, Mortimer charms us into his urbane tangle of clues' Mail on Sunday Summer's Lease, which was made into popular BBC TV mini-series starring John Gielgud, is a delightful novel from Rumpole author John Mortimer: witty, compassionate, humane, perfectly plotted and wonderfully readable. It will be adored by readers of P.G Wodehouse and P.D. James. Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional political trilogy of Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

Zerah Colburn - Spirit of Darkness

Zerah Colburn - Spirit of Darkness

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/11/2007

Zerah Colburn - Spirit of Darkness by John Mortimer

Rumpole and the Reign of Terror

Rumpole and the Reign of Terror

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2007

Rumpole and the Reign of Terror - a delightful novel starring John Mortimer's iconic barrister 'Rumpole, like Jeeves and Sherlock Holmes, is immortal' P. D James, Mail on Sunday 'I thank heaven for small mercies. The first of these is Rumpole' Clive James, Observer Justice isn't blind - it's just a little short sighted and weak around the knees ... Just in case Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders gave fans the impression that the Great Defender was resting on his laurels, his new case sends him at full sail into our panicky new world. Rumpole is asked to defend a Pakistani doctor who has been imprisoned without charge or trial on suspicion of aiding Al Qaeda. Meanwhile, on the home front, She Who Must Be Obeyed is threatening to share her intimate view of her husband in a tell-all memoir. The result is Rumpole at his most ironic and indomitable, and John Mortimer at his most entertaining. This hilarious novel will be loved by fans of Rumpole and readers of Sherlock Holmes, P.D. James and P.G. Wodehouse. Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional political trilogy of Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

Quite Honestly

Quite Honestly

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/05/2006

Quite Honestly - a hilarious crime novel by bestselling Rumpole author John Mortimer Life couldn't be better for Lucinda Purefoy. She's got a steady boyfriend, a degree in social sciences and the offer of a job in advertising. With all this, she felt she should 'pay back her debt to society' and 'do a little good in the world'. That's why she joined SCRAP (short for 'Social Carers, Reformers and Preceptors'), an organization which trains girls like Lucy to become the 'guide, philosopher and friend' to ex-convicts coming out of prison, to find them a job, a home and to encourage them to kick the habit of stealing things. And so Lucy finds herself standing outside the gates of Wormwood Scrubs, on a windy March morning, waiting to greet her first SCRAP 'client', a career-burglar called Terry Keegan. What happens next confounds expectations and produces a story full of surprises. With a cast of characters that rivals anything in his famous Rumpole stories and a compulsive plot, Quite Honestly is a wonderfully comic novel. If you like to read P.D. James and P.G. Wodehouse, you will love this book. Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional political trilogy of Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

Zerah Colburn The Spirit of Darkness

Zerah Colburn The Spirit of Darkness

Author: John Mortimer Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/06/2005

Zerah Colburn The Spirit of Darkness by John Mortimer

Rumpole And The Primrose Path

Rumpole And The Primrose Path

Author: John Mortimer Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/12/2004

This release comprises four 45 minute BBC Radio 4 plays adapted by John Mortimer from four stories in his latest published collection, 'Rumpole and the Primrose Path'. Rumpole is a wine-imbibing friend of the South London criminal classes, and the scourge of all QCs. Acting as narrator, he tells a series of stories involving legal chicanery, criminal derring-do and startling coincidence, spiced with a modicum of domestic strife at home. In these episodes Rumpole is played by Timothy West, whilst the part of She Who Must Be Obeyed is taken by his real-life wife, Prunella Scales.

The First Rumpole Omnibus

The First Rumpole Omnibus

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/09/1983

A CLASSIC COLLECTION OF JOHN MORTIMER'S ICONIC CHARACTER, DISCOVER THE FIRST RUMPOLE OMNIBUS! 'One of the great comic creations of modern times' Evening Standard 'Rumpole, like Jeeves and Sherlock Holmes, is immortal' P. D. James, Mail on Sunday Who rose to enduring fame on Blood and Typewriters? Who told the pregnant Portia of the Chambers it would come out in the end? Who advised Guthrie Featherstone, Q.C. to adopt a more judicial attitude? The answer is barrister Horace Rumpole.His legal triumphs, plundering sorties into the 'Oxford Book of English Verse' and less-than-salubrious hat are celebrated in the first omnibus, including Rumpole of the Bailey, The Trials of Rumpole and Rumpole's Return. John Mortimer's hilarious Rumpole, which fans of Sherlock Holmes and P.G. Wodehouse will love, sees the magician of the Old Bailey at his unpredictable and brilliant best.

Clinging to the Wreckage

Clinging to the Wreckage

Author: John Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/02/1983

Clinging to the Wreckage - the first part of John Mortimer's hilarious and moving autobiography 'A true masterpiece of the genre' The Times Here John Mortimer recounts his solitary childhood in the English countryside, with affectionate portraits of his remote parents - an increasingly unconventional barrister father, whose blindness must never be mentioned, battling earwigs in the mutinous garden, and a vague and endlessly patient mother. As a boy dreaming of a tap-dancing career on the stage and forming a one-boy communist cell at boarding school, his father pushes him to pursue the law, where Mortimer embarks on the career that was to inspire his hilarious and immortal literary creations. Told with great humour and touching honesty, this is a magnificent achievement by one of Britain's best-loved writers. It will delight readers of P.G. Wodehouse, Roald Dahl and fans of Rumpole. 'Enchantingly witty ... should be held as the model for all autobiographies of our times'Auberon Waugh Sir John Mortimer was a barrister, playwright and novelist. His fictional trilogy about the inexorable rise of an ambitious Tory MP in the Thatcher years (Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets) has recently been republished in Penguin Classics, together with Clinging to the Wreckage and his play A Voyage round My Father. His most famous creation was the barrister Horace Rumpole, who featured in four novels and around eighty short stories. His books in Penguin include: The Anti-social Behaviour of Horace Rumpole; The Collected Stories of Rumpole; The First Rumpole Omnibus; Rumpole and the Angel of Death; Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders; Rumpole and the Primrose Path; Rumpole and the Reign of Terror; Rumpole and the Younger Generation; Rumpole at Christmas; Rumpole Rests His Case; The Second Rumpole Omnibus; Forever Rumpole; In Other Words; Quite Honestly and Summer's Lease.

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