John Mortimer, Creater of Rumpole, Dies at 85

John Mortimer, Creater of Rumpole, Dies at 85

John Mortimer, barrister, author, playwright and creator of Horace Rumpole, the cunning defender of the British criminal classes, has died, according to his publisher at Viking, Tony Lacey. He was 85 years old.

Mr. Mortimer is known best in this country for creating the Rumpole character, an endearing and enduring relic of the British legal system who became a television hero of the courtroom comedy.

Will someone please stop killing off all my childhood heroes. That’s the third this week!

Ah, too bad. It’s impossible to read the books without seeing the perfectly casted BBC characters, including of course Leo McKern, but the books are also very entertaining on their own. Of course the Rumpole stories are a bit formulaic, but it’s a welcome formula, much as the charm of the Sherlock Holmes stories comes not from the mysteries, but from the settings and characters.

i’ve kept meaning to read these but something always gets in the way