Not long ago, David Baddiel, the actor and comedian, told his Twitter followers he was ‘rereading’ Middlemarch. In a series of tweets on the experience, he claimed that George Eliot’s novel was better than anything by Tolstoy, Flaubert, and Proust.
In his history of crime fiction, Bloody Murder, Julian Symons called it ‘the detective story to end detective stories… a dazzling and perhaps fortunately unrepeatable box of tricks’.
Long ago, when I was young and impressionable, I read a profile of the novelist Graham Greene. His writing routine was mentioned. Greene would write for an hour or so each morning, producing 500 words, and then stop, his day’s work done.
English Heritage caused a kerfuffle recently when it updated its website entry about Enid Blyton. EH’s interest in Blyton relates to its responsibility for London’s blue plaque scheme, which marks buildings where notable people of the past lived or worked.