Marshall Hall was a spectular figure in many of the most famous murder trials staged at the Old Bailey. His powers of oratory and cross-examination made him a widely-sought advocate, and he played a leading role in such celebrated cases as those of Seddon the prisoner, George Joseph Smith (who drowned his brides in a bath), the "Green Bicycle" mystery and the Field and Gray murder on Eastbourne beach. His dynamic style of defence secured several prisoners the benefit of the doubt in a jury's mind, but is also involved him in many clashes with judges who did not care for Marshall Hall's cut-and-thrust manner in court. This book is written by a friend and colleague who had access to Sir Edward Marshall Hall's private papers. Part biography, it reveals the barrister's tragic personal life and the contradictions in his personality. Part case history, it gives plenty of details about the murder cases.
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John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist, and former practicing barrister who has written many film scripts as well as stage, radio, and television plays, the Rumpole plays, for which he received the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited." He is the author of twelve collections of Rumpole stories and three acclaimed volumes of autobiography.
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