John Mortimer, the British barrister and writer, died on Friday. He was the creator of the enormously successful British television series Rumpole of the Bailey, which was spun off into short stories and novels. Rumpole was a rumpled old curmudgeon of a fellow who delighted in defending all sorts of accused criminals and usually, if not always, succeeded in having them acquitted. A master of the English language, he often quoted Wordsworth; he memorably called his wife Hilda, She Who Must Be Obeyed, though never within earshot.
As for Mortimer, much could be written about his overcoming of adversity and his successes in life. Let me however leave you with this thought:
His legal career took in everything from divorce cases to murders — and he said he preferred the latter.
“Matrimonial clients hate each other so much and use their children to hurt each other in beastly ways,” he once said. “Murderers have usually killed the one person in the world that was bugging them and they’re usually quite peaceful and agreeable.”
(H/T: Damian Penny)