One day John Mortimer is checking a reference in his Complete Shakespeare when the page falls open in the middle of Henry VI, Part II and his eye catches hold of two lines: 'This devil here shall be my substitute; For that John Mortimer which now is dead...
Though the room goes suddenly cold, Shakespeare's character is of course another person in another place, and this John Mortimer - novelist, playwright, erstwhile barrister, and scourge of both Tories and New Labour - happily lives on through another gloriously full year which involves working with Franco Zeffirelli, raising the Lottery-matching money needed to rebuild the Royal Court Theatre, chairing the committee that will advise on the momentous decision as to who or what will go on the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square, and lunching with old lags and captains of industry in Wormwood Scrubs.Public and private, poignant and frank, but above all wonderfully funny, The Summer of a Dormouse is a vivid testimony to the pleasures and pains of old age.
- Publication Date:
- 02 / 12 / 2000
- 152 x 230mm