Paperbacks: A Voyage Round John Mortimer, by Valerie Grove

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The Independent Culture

John Mortimer's following in middle England may be shocked by his haut bohème hedonism, but they will also be greatly entertained by this highly relishable biography.

We learn that the QC who once defended Spank magazine was not averse to a bit of slap and tickle himself. "We'll put a hairbrush on your coffin," said his wife Penny when his spanking shenanigans with Molly Parkin were made public. Noting that "Falstaffian jollity can always get a man through embarrassment and guilt", Grove seems dismayed by her subject, but admits "I totally shared his view that laughter must be sought above all things."