Valerie Grove writes a weekly column for The Times. As well as that of Laurie Lee, she has written a biography of the children's writer Dodie Smith, entitled DEAR DODIE which was listed as one of the 12 finalists for the NCR Award. She is married to the journalist Trevor Grove, and lives in London.
A VOYAGE AROUND JOHN MORTIMER, Penguin 2007
Novelist, playwright and barrister John Mortimer has led an extraordinarily rich life, privately and professionally, much of it in the public eye. His own writings, from the play A Voyage Round My Father to the memoirs Clinging to the Wreckage and Murderers and Other Friends, have given his many fans plenty of insights. But now for the first time a biographer has had full access to Mortimer, his circle of friends and colleagues, and their diaries and letters. The result is a riveting account of the life of one of the great figures of our time. A Voyage Round John Mortimer is revealing of many aspects of Mortimer's legal and literary career, from his first attempts at writing novels and the early help he offered his barrister father through to the great triumphs of Rumpole and the Oz trial.
'Valerie Grove has done a splendid job of unravelling the myths that her subject has spun around himself' Evening Standard
'A firm, honest, intimate and detailed portrait of a man who has spent a lifetime building up his own myth' Observer
'This is a loyal and affectionate book that cleverly portrays what it is to be a national treasure.' Guardian
'John Mortimer's following in middle England may be shocked by his haut boheme hedonism, but they will also be greatly entertained by this highly relishable biography' Independent
'Researched with Valerie Grove's usual care and written with verve this is a fully detailed life of the protean character who is a gift to any biographer' Sunday Telegraph
'(A) vivid portrait...a harrowing account of the breakdown of a marriage' Sunday Times