Friday, January 16, 2009

John Mortimer

Growing up in England I was a big fan of John Mortimer, who died today at 85. Most people know him through the Rumpole TV shows, but he also wrote some great books -- Voyage Round my Father and Clinging to the Wreckage being two examples. He was an erudite, upper-class lefty who hated Thatcher and as a barrister defended obscenity cases brought against the publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover and later the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks album. He once said "I suppose that writers should, in a way, feel flattered by the censorship laws. They show a primitive fear and dread at the fearful magic of print."