Tuesday, December 16, 2008

John Mortimer – Viking – NZ$35

A wee (112 pp) treasure for the Christmas stocking.

Collected and published for the first time In Other Words is a book of verse, anecdotes, and memories from one of the UK’s best-known raconteurs, based on his long-running one-man charity show, Mortimer’s Miscellany.
In a way it is a record of the extraordinary life lived in law and literature.
This from his entertaining introduction:
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where quotations from poetry were part of the daily conversation. My father, a blind barrister, apparently knew most of the plays of Shakespeare by heart. He would take me every year to see the plays in the repertoire at what was then called the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.
At home, from my earliest years, I was never quite sure whether it was my father or Shakespeare who was speaking.One of his most frequent questions to me was, “Is execution done on Cawdor?” At the age of six, I found this difficult to answer.

Mortimer, (I always think of him as Horace Rumpole!), lives in what was his father’s house in the Chilterns. He was awarded a knighthood for his services to the arts. He has some 40 books to his credit along with twelve plays.

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