The Best of the Rumpole StoriesBook - 2011
Horace Rumpole lives alongside Mr Pickwick and Bertie Wooster as one of the immortal comic characters in English fiction. With his curmudgeonly wit, his literary allusions, his disdain for personal ambition and his lack of pomposity, he has, in the words of the Daily Telegraph , 'ascended to the pantheon of literary immortals'.
Over a period of thirty years, beginning in the late 1970s, John Mortimer wrote almost eighty Rumpole stories (as well as four Rumpole novels). During that time the world changed dramatically with the result that late in his career Rumpole found himself defending hunt-saboteurs and alleged Islamic terrorists. But the old boy himself remained the same- committed to defending the apparently indefensible, trusting of the good sense of a jury and scornful of the law's pomposities - values he carried with him wherever he practised, whether he was defending a murderer down at the Bailey or someone up on a spot of assault at the Uxbridge Magistrates Court. And when the day was over, it was a quick nip into Pommeroy's Wine Bar for a glass or two of Chateau Thames Embankment before the tube home to She Who Must Be Obeyed in Foxbury Mansions.
Forever Rumpole contains seven stories originally chosen by the author himself in 1993 as his favourites to that point, together with a further seven from the later period and the opening chapters of a Rumpole novel that Sir John was working on when he died in January 2009. With an introduction by Ann Mallalieu, fellow lawyer and for many years Sir John's colleague in practice, Forever Rumpole offers the very best of Horace Rumpole.