Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009

John Mortimer

John was a true Renaissance man. Besides his many novels, he penned plays, movie scripts, translations of operas and adaptations (most famously A Christmas Carol for the Royal Shakespeare Company and Brideshead Revisited). Not only did he create in Horace Rumpole that contradiction in terms, a lovable lawyer, but he showed how to live life to the full, surrounded by friends, family, love and laughter. Knight in shining Armani and scintillating raconteur, John was also an activist lawyer. In campaigning against censorship and the death penalty, he saved lives, righted wrongs and freed underdogs from their locked kennels. John maintained that the art of cross-examination was not to examine crossly. Famous for charming expert prosecution witnesses out of their preconceptions, he was more disarming than a U.N. peacekeeping force. As Rumpole would say, the defense rests.

Kathy Lette

Lette's latest novel is To Love, Honour and Betray (Till Divorce Us Do Part)