Cox, Jeffrey N.
COX, Jeffrey N.
PERSONAL: Male. Education: Wesleyan University, B.A., 1975; University of Virginia, Ph.D., 1981.
ADDRESSES: Office—Center for Humanities and the Arts, Macky 201, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309.
CAREER: Center for Humanities and the Arts, University of Colorado at Boulder, CO, professor of English and comparative literature.
In the Shadows of Romance: Romantic Tragic Drama in Germany, England, and France, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 1987.
(Editor) Seven Gothic Dramas, 1789-1825, Ohio University Press (Athens, OH), 1992.
(Editor, with Larry J. Reynolds) New Historical Literary Study: Essays on Reproducing Texts, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1993.
(Editor, with others) Selected Writings of Leigh Hunt, Pickering & Chatto (Brookfield, VT), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Jeffrey N. Cox is best known for his scholarly studies of Romantic drama, a relatively unmapped area of literary history. Through several studies and essay collections, Cox has attempted to make the dramatic world of the Romantics accessible to students.
Cox's first book, In the Shadow of Romance: Romantic Tragic Drama in Germany, England, and France, opens the field of Romantic drama to scholars and students. John Ehrstine, in an article for Comparative Drama, explained: "The central impulse for Jeffrey Cox's study is the simple fact that we know so little about Romantic drama and take so little pleasure in reading it.... Thus there has been a failure in criticism, especially in our understanding of Romantic tragedy....'I hope to steer a middle course,' Cox states, between the strictures of George Steiner's The Death of Tragedy (London, 1961), which imposes too narrow a norm for tragedy to include the Romantics, and Morris Weitz's Hamlet and the Philosophy of Literary Criticism (Chicago, 1964) whose relativist argument claims that 'The concept of tragedy is perennially debatable.'" This argument won much attention for its exploration of the forgotten literature; even George Steiner, in a reply to Cox's assertions, called Cox's work "a generous and stimulating brief." W. W. Waring, in a review for Choice, commented that "In the Shadows of Romance is valuable for its analyses of individual works and for its comprehensive view of romantic tragedy."
Cox edited Seven Gothic Dramas, 1789-1825, a collection of little-known plays from the period. By producing a new version of these plays, complete with explanatory notes, Cox enables students access to the difficult field of Romantic drama. B. F. Fisher, in an article for Choice, wrote: "Cox's command of the bibliography relevant to his subject is impressive, and his book will stand as a milestone of content, good scholarship, and clear style." John Mullan of the Times Literary Supplement called the book an "intriguing anthology" and commented: "Seven Gothic Dramas, 1789-1825 gives us a chance to see how the London stage provided its equivalent of the thrills on offer at the circulating library, and its excellent introduction recreates the contemporary appetite for drama of apprehension and terror." David W. Lindsay, in Review of English Studies, felt that "Cox's scholarship and theoretical sophistication are [most] suitably employed in his analysis of the feminist dimension of De Montfort and in his exposition of the complex textual history of Bertram." Lindsay added, moreover: "This substantial and well-produced volume is therefore to be welcomed, not only for its thoughtfully edited texts of seven representative plays but also for its ambitious and wide-ranging introduction."
In Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt, and Their Circle, Cox focuses on the group of writers and intellectuals in England that became known as the "Cockney School."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, June 1988, W. W. Waring, review of In the Shadows of Romance, p. 1549; January 1993, B. F. Fisher, review of Seven Gothic Dramas 1789-1825, p. 797; September, 1999, G. A. Cevasco, review of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt, and Their Circle, p. 141.
Comparative Drama, Summer 1988, John Ehrstine, review of In the Shadows of Romance, p. 187.
Keats-Shelley Journal, 2001, Grant Scott, review of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School, p. 173.
Nineteenth-Century Literature, June, 2000, Scott McEathron, review of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School, p. 118.
Notes & Queries, June, 2000, Richard Cronin, review of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School, p. 267.
Review of English Studies, May 1995, David W. Lindsay, review of Seven Gothic Dramas 1789-1825, p. 281; May, 2000, Jon Mee, review of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School, p. 311.
Studies in Romanticism, spring, 2001, Jack Stillinger, review of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School, p. 165.
Times Literary Supplement, February 12, 1988, George Steiner, "Tragic and Counter-tragic," p. 168; December 24, 1993, "Ha, Reginald!," p. 7; October 8, 1999, Michael O'Neill, review of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School, p. 32.*