Hi Charlie, we've not been in touch since I was a teenager when I read a lot of your books, but I do promise to read Bleak House this year. People tell me it is terribly good. I hope you don't mind, on this, your birthday, telling you that we're doing a big book on London fiction next year and, well, there's no easy way of putting it - you're not in it. Yes, yes, I know you know London like the back of your hand, all those twelve mile walks and everything. It is just that you are a wee bit early for us in time, and possibly a teensy-weensy bit over-exposed. Anyway, what could we say that Simon and Claire haven't said already? Did you see Simon, by the way, on The One Show? He did look embarrassed.
You will know some of the contributors though, as we start with George Gissing, and he wrote a book about you. What did you think of it? His novel Nether World is the earliest book we discuss but I think you'd recognise your London pretty much in other material from that century, Child of the Jago for example.
I don't know how much you keep up with modern London literature, have you read Brick Lane or White Teeth? They were pretty big a few years ago. I'll let you know later when we have a publication date. And good luck with all your events this year.