Thursday, November 01, 2007

John Mortimer

Sir John Mortimer is a famous English writer and lawyer. He has five children.

Valerie Grove, in The Times, 11 October 2007, gave us extracts from her biography of John Mortimer - A Voyage Round John Mortimer (John Mortimer and his undergraduate crush - Times Online )

Grove tells us that at Oxford University, Mortimer wore 'velvet jackets, purple trousers, sombrero hats'.

And at Oxford, Mortimer developed 'a romantic infatuation for Quentin Edwards, a fresh-faced, handsome sixth-former, who had visited Oxford from his public school in the balmy spring of 1941.'

Mortimer gave Edwards a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets, with an inscription from Sonnet 144 - “two loves have I, of comfort and despair”.

Mortimer wrote letter to Edwards letters 'in the style of Wilde to Bosie', addressed to 'My dear Boy'.

The letters were found at the boy’s school by his housemaster. The headmaster summoned Edwards and told him not to return to the school.

The headmaster wrote to an official at oxford University, and Mortimer was advised not to return for his third year.

Edwards, who became a judge, now says: “John and I had, I suppose, a crush on each other."

Mortimer 'has never made a secret of his homosexual inclinations at school, even at the Dragon prep school.' Mortimer says, "I had perfectly pleasant homosexual experiences at Harrow!”

Mortimer became a writer and 'one of his early triumphs as a playwright was a play called Bermondsey, in which a married man passionately kisses his former male lover from their army days. This kiss was, in 1971, a first for the West End. It made the audience gasp, and the critics extol the playwright’s groundbreaking and sensitive treatment of homosexuality.'

Mortimer, as a lawyer, defended Gay News in the 1977 blasphemy trial.

One of Mortimer's plays, Naked Justice (2001), "featured a judge confronted by a blackmailer who reminds the judge of one long-ago afternoon at 'St Tom’s College' when he was 'fascinated by my purple trousers'."


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