Friday, January 16, 2009

John Mortimer, 1923-2008

The BBC reports that novelist and screenwriter Sir John Mortimer has died at the age of eighty-five. His best-known work -- for both page and small screen -- were the stories about the disreputable barrister Rumpole, but he wrote many other fine novels (Paradise Postponed) and screenplays (the '80s miniseries of Brideshead Revisited). He was, like Rumpole, a barrister himself, and was additionally known as an advocate for free speech and other citizens' rights.

I read what I guess was his last novel, Rumpole Misbehaves, just less than a year ago. He was still doing fine work, and he will definitely be missed -- particularly as a voice of opposition as Britain slides ever closer to Panopticon status.

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