Horace Rumpole - witty, eloquent, dishevelled and cynical - is one of fiction's best-loved barristers-at-law. In these twenty classic tales, Rumpole battles through the Old Bailey, whether defending various members of an incompetent South London crime family, taking on haute-cuisine chefs and showfolk or mocking the pomposity of his own profession, all the while being held in check by his wife, Hilda: the wonderful, fearsome She Who Must Be Obeyed. These collected stories, in "Penguin Modern Classics" for the first time, are a definitive introduction to one of the wisest and wittiest characters in British comic writing and a reminder of what justice should really be about. This title comes with a new introduction by Sam Leith, former literary editor of the "Daily Telegraph" and contributor to the "Evening Standard", "Guardian" and "Spectator".
John Mortimer (1923-2009) was a novelist, playwright and barrister. Among his many publications are several volumes of Rumpole stories and a trilogy of political novels (Paradise Postponed, Titmuss Regained, and The Sound of Trumpets) featuring Leslie Titmuss. Sir John received a CBE in 1986 and a knighthood for his services to the arts in 1998. Sam Leith is the former literary editor of the Daily Telegraph, and the author of the novels The Coincidence Engine and Daddy, is Timmy in Heaven Now? He writes regularly for the Evening Standard, Guardian, and Spectator.