Mortimer, John (Paul Cox, illus.)
- Rumpole - Folio Society edition
The Folio Society, London, 1994.
Reprint. Octavo; hardcover, with silver gilt spine titles and upper board decoartaions; 362pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Near fine in a slightly scuffed slip-case. "... Rumpole's appeal lay in the very idea of defence: here was a drinker and dreamer defending us all against injustice, the law's absurdity and our own mistakes. The part was played by Leo McKern, whose acting, Mortimer said, 'was where I hope my writing will be, about two feet above the ground, a little larger than life, but always taking off from reality'. Rumpole ran, rather raggedly at times, to a lengthy series of novels, collections of stories and TV series (the last novel appeared in 2007). In an aside Clive James summarised Rumpole as a small mercy for which he thanked heaven.... He wrote as easily as he talked, and his spell on the page sprang from the personality of the prose. Somewhere he describes his memories as 'illustrations of the vanished professional, middle-class world of England between the wars; or the snapshots of an only child who had, in those slow-moving days, much time to notice things'. His snaps were vivid. The two volumes of autobiography, in 1982 Clinging to the Wreckage, followed by Murderers & Other Friends in 1994, are less confessions than celebrations. He dodges in and out of strings of anecdote that between the lines reveal all he thinks you need to know of him, but nothing like the whole; their superficiality runs disingenuously deep. They are class acts. " - David Hughes
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