April 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
The letters Roger Mortimer wrote to his son Charlie, collected in Dear Lupin propelled him to a posthumous spot in the bestseller charts. Daughter Louise (or Lumpy) was next to publish and now we have daughter Jane’s cache of her father’s letters to explore. Jane accompanies the letters with biographical detail and background bringing to life the family Mortimer and their extraordinary letter-writing father.
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As the eldest daughter of a prolific letter writer, Jane Torday received hundreds of letters from her father over the years. From irreverent advice and hilarious family anecdotes to moments of great poignancy, Roger Mortimer's missives are a touching and witty portrait of his life and relationships over the years. Dearest Jane begins with Roger's time as a young army officer in Egypt, and then as a POW in the Second World War, where his sense of humour endured despite the conditions. Jane accompanies her father's letters with her own memories and anecdotes, as we meet familiar characters such as Nidnod, Lupin and Lumpy, and learn more about the extended family, friends and pets who leap from the pages of his letters. This is an arresting and extraordinary record, not only of Roger Mortimer's life but also of the history of an entire family between 1960 and 1991. Sparkling with the dry wit for which Mortimer's letters are famous, and accompanied by an affectionate personal portrait, this book will delight both old and new readers.
'Jane Torday and her father are perfect companions, and this is a life in letters as never before - often hilarious, occasionally objectionable, ever engaging, original and always honest. This book is like an old-fashioned Fleet Street lunch, and you will rise from the table both light-headed and wonderfully indulged.' -- Simon Garfield, author of On The Map
'A tender, hilarious, perceptive and sometimes painfully honest account of a daughter's love for her father, this latest addition to the Mortimer family correspondence comes from Dear Lupin's 'bossy elder sister'. Every family should have one. Jane Torday, though her book depends on the wit and wisdom of letters from her Dad, is a natural writer with a strong sense of narrative drive. As a portrait of a family - mother Nidnod, father Roger, siblings Lupin and Lumpy, it is sharply observed as well as memorably affectionate. Above all, it is Roger Mortimer who is the star of the show. His final request: 'I don't want a memorial service, just a quick fry up.
Fabulous stuff.' -- Elisabeth Luard
Publication date: 20/03/2014
Publisher: Constable an imprint of Constable and Robinson
|Publication date:||20th March 2014|
|Author:||Roger Mortimer, Jane Torday|
|Publisher:||Constable an imprint of Constable and Robinson|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, Books of the Month, The Real World,|
|Categories:||Memoirs, Diaries, letters & journals, Intergenerational relationships,|
Jane Torday was born in London, brought up in Hampshire, worked in London before her first marriage took her to Northumberland where she has lived since 1973. Writing has always been a part of her life, publishing books and articles on food, gardening and social history, alongside her family life and establishing a local enterprise, 'The Garden Station'. Her first memoir of her father was 'The Coldstreamer and The Canary' in 1995. Roger Mortimer was born in 1909 and educated at Eton College and Sandhurst. In 1930 he was commissioned into the Coldstream Guards. In 1940 he fought in the Battle of Belgium ...More About Roger Mortimer, Jane Torday