Following the bestselling SUMMER OF A DORMOUSE, Sir John Mortimer - playwright, novelist, octogenarian and erstwhile QC - offers up more wickedly funny lessons in living and growing old disgracefully. What would we like to leave to our descendants? Not a third-rate painting or our PEPS, according to Sir John, but a love of Shakespeare, a taste for alcohol, the ability to defeat boredom, the importance of never locking the lavatory door, and so on. Owing something to Montaigne's essays, something to Wilde's aphorisms and something to Yeats' poem for his daughter, Where There's a Will offers plenty of sparkling and surprising advice from one who has seen it all.
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Sir John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist and former practising barrister. During the war he worked with the Crown Film Unit and published a number of novels, before turning to theatre. He has written many film scripts, and plays for both radio and television, including A Voyage Round My Father, the Rumpole plays, which won him the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. Many of his Rumpole stories are published in Penguin, as are two volumes of his acclaimed autobiography, Clinging to the Wreckage and Murderers and Other Friends, and the bestselling Summer of a Dormouse. His novels include Summer's Lease, Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained and The Sound of Trumpets. Sir John lives with his wife and their youngest daughter in what was once his father's house in the Chilterns. He received a knighthood for his services to the arts in the 1998 Queen's Birthday Honours list.From Booklist:
What does a man of means and imagination leave behind? Mortimer, barrister, playwright, and creator of the Rumpole mystery series, says that, at 81, he's faced with a desire to decide "what, if anything, can be usefully dusted off and passed on." He decides to follow the example of his father, who left him the law, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, and laughter. Reading this memoir is like sitting with someone very wise and very comical at an outdoor party crowded with guests. Your host interrupts his talk of his own life--the book is filled with bits from Mortimer's childhood, acting career, and adventures in the law--to fill you in on some of the guests. See Shakespeare over there? Mortimer's favorite characters from the Bard's plays were the sensible friends of the heroes. And the artist Velazquez? Mortimer's favorite work of the great artist is that of an old woman cooking eggs. Mortimer ranges widely, discoursing on the tyranny of political correctness, the pang of missed opportunities, and the rare gift of being able to listen, using both his own experiences and the wealth of what he's read to illuminate his subjects. There's some straightforward advice, too: live a varied, action-filled life; see happiness as a by-product, not a goal. But what emerges most forcefully from this leisurely meditation is a lively appreciation of how the legacy of past civilizations can make life vibrant. Mortimer is a companion you don't want to leave. Connie Fletcher
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0141011149