Jeremy Ison once became a writer called Jerry whose books on the limerick made merry

By Katie Taylor, December 9, 2010

Jeremy Ison is a lawyer from Wimbledon who leads a double life. In his spare time he moonlights as the limerick writer, Jerry Markison, the author of a new book, The Jewish Limerick Book – An Alternative Guide to One of the World's Great Faiths.

Jeremy began writing limericks after he won a limerick competition at his law firm. He tells People: "I won with a limerick about a lawyer who tried to drum up more business by going on a series of blind dates - and this sparked ideas about writing on various themes."

His first limerick book was published in 2008, Liverpool's year as city of culture. Jeremy, 40, said: "I basically took the 'mickey' out of Liverpool culture and Ken Dodd's tax problems. He commented on them, calling them amusing ditties."

His new book includes 225 limericks on all things Jewish - festivals, rituals and even circumcision. It also includes a limerick epic, with a series of 50-line verses which tell the story of the Exodus. The Oxford languages graduate said: "The book also includes one or two French words and a few Yiddish ones too."

The book features cartoons to accompany the limericks, by cartoonist Dan Archer and footnotes which explain Jewish themes. Jerry said: "It's like a Jewish text with its commentary. But it will also allow it to be translated for non-Jews. Its title is a tongue-in-cheek hint to its ability to teach. People will get a view of Judaism, perhaps a lopsided view, but still a view."

Last updated: 3:09pm, December 9 2010