Fox, Levi 1914-2006
Fox, Levi 1914-2006
See index for CA sketch: Born August 28, 1914, in Leicestershire, England; died September 3, 2006. Historian, administrator, and author. Fox was director emeritus of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust and was responsible for restoring historic buildings associated with the famous bard. Fox earned a B.A. from Oxford University with first-class honors in 1936, and two M.A.s in 1938—one from Oxford and another from the University of Manchester. Initially, he intended to teach, but he was put off by the interview process for schoolmasters. Considered unfit for military duty when traces of tuberculosis were found in his lungs, Fox settled in Coventry to help with the distribution of war rations. While there, he became an archivist, and when in 1945 an opening for director of Shakespeare's Birthplace Trust became available, he applied and was hired. Fox spent the next forty-four years of his life as the trust's director. In this position, he accomplished much, overseeing not only the restoration of Shakespeare's birthplace, but also the homes of the bard's wife, Anne Hathaway, mother, Mary Arden, and daughter, Susannah. Fox collected research papers and materials that were then kept at the Royal Shakespeare Company archive, successfully championed a postage stamp that bore Shakespeare's image on the playwright's four-hundredth birthday, and established a conservation center for the trust and a country crafts museum. An enthusiast of historical accuracy, Fox was a pioneer in historical building restoration. He made certain that only historically appropriate materials were used, and he hired craftspeople skilled in traditional construction techniques. Named to the Order of the British Empire in 1964, Fox was the author of numerous books on Shakespeare and other historical subjects, including The History of Coventry's Textile Industry (1944), Shakespeare's England (1972), The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon (1982), and Mary Arden's House and the Shakespeare Countryside Museum (1989). Among his final publications are Shakespeare's Town and Country (1990), Minutes and Accounts of the Corporation of Stratford (1990), and his autobiography, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: A Personal Memoir (1997).
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Fox, Levi, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: A Personal Memoir, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, 1997.
Times (London, England), September 12, 2006, p. 61.