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.
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.
When Lewis Luby (Jeremy Irons) comes to, late at night in an Italian hospital, he finds himself lying under the monstrous big toe of God. Surely there has been some mistake: Luby, who has never for one moment believed in the immortality of the soul, cannot possibly be in heaven! John Mortimer had the idea for 'Mr Luby's Fear of Heaven' when he first visited the Santa Maria della Scala hospital in Siena and saw patients lying in beds under ceilings decorated with 15th-Century frescoes depicting Heaven and Hell. The play was first produced for BBC Radio 3 in 1976, with John Gielgud in the title role. Later that year it was presented on stage as part of a double bill 'Heaven and Hell', with Denholm Elliot as Luby. This BBC Radio 4 'Afternoon Play' production, starring Jeremy Irons as the protagonist, was first broadcast 31 December 2008 and repeated 15 February 2011. Stephen Critchlow, Marsha Fitzalan, Chris Pavlo, Donnla Hughes, Dan Starkey and Flaminia Cinque also feature amongst the cast.