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Patrick Devlin is best known for his legal rulings, championship of the jury system, and as the judge who acquitted Dr Bodkin Adams, the Eastbourne doctor who was accused of murdering his patients; but only Patrick's immediate family know much about his early life.
This autobiography, started four years before Patrick died (aged 86) in 1992, aimed to describe his first days at the Bar. It expanded to include:-
His fortunes improved when he was chosen to "devil" for WIlliam Jowitt, the Attorney General, and then followed him into Chambers in Brick Court. Patrick was a close observer of the political scene during the rise and fall of the first Labour Government in 1929 and the period of the national coalition forms a backdrop to the later chapters.
He first came to public attention when he was Junior Counsel in the celebrated Hearn murder case and he describes the part luck played in his early progress - hence the title: Taken at the Flood.
The book ends before he became a QC in 1945 but tributes from Cardinal Hume, Sir Ludovic Kennedy and Lord Scarman place his early life in the context of one of the most distinguished legal careers of the century.