Personally signed by John Mortimor, the English barrister, dramatist, screenwriter and author.
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About the author
John Mortimer is a novelist, playwright and former practising barrister. Among his many publications are several volumes of Rumpole stories and a trilogy of political novels (Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets) featuring Leslie Titmuss - a character as brilliant as Rumpole. John Mortimer received a knighthood for his services to the arts in 1998. He lives near Henley-on-Thames.
Mortimer is best remembered for creating a barrister named Horace Rumpole, whose speciality is defending those accused of crime in London's Old Bailey. Mortimer created Rumpole for Rumpole of the Bailey, based on a chance Court encounter with James Burge QC, as a 1975 contribution to the BBCs Play For Today anthology series.
Although not Mortimer's first choice of actor, Leo McKern played the character with gusto proving popular, and the idea was developed into a series Rumpole of the Bailey for Thames Television and a series of books (all written by Mortimer). In September-October 2003, BBC Radio 4 broadcast four new 45-minute Rumpole dramatizations by Mortimer starring Timothy West in the title role. He also dramatised many of the real-life cases of the barrister Edward Marshall-Hall in a radio series starring ex-Doctor Who star Tom Baker.
Mortimer was credited with the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited for Granada Television in 1981. However, Graham Lord's unofficial biography, John Mortimer: The Devil's Advocate, revealed in 2005 that none of Mortimer's submitted scripts had in fact been used and that the screenplay was actually written by the series producer and director. Mortimer adapted John Fowles' The Ebony Tower, starring Laurence Olivier for Granada in 1984.
In 1986, his description of what he saw as Britain's descent into the viciousness of Thatcherism � Paradise Postponed � was televised, in an adaptation from his own novel.
He also wrote the script, based on the autobiography of Franco Zeffirelli, for the 1999 film Tea with Mussolini, directed by Zeffirelli and starring Joan Plowright, Cher, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Lily Tomlin. From 2004, Mortimer worked as a consultant for the politico-legal US comedy television show Boston Legal.
He developed his career as a dramatist by rising early to write before attending court, and his work in total includes over fifty books, plays, and scripts.