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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Michael Cox, Editor and Author of ‘The Meaning of Night,’ Dies at 60

Tonight I found out via SFScope and The New York Times that:

"Michael Cox, an authority on the Victorian ghost story who, five years ago, spurred by the threat of blindness, sat down and wrote the vast Gothic novel that had been haunting him for three decades, “The Meaning of Night,” a widely praised narrative of intrigue and murder, died on March 31 in Kettering, England. He was 60 and lived in the Northamptonshire region of England."

The Meaning of Night is just an astounding novel that will grab you from the first page and is highly, highly recommended for any lover of "Victoriana".

There is a direct sequel taking place 30 years or so later, The Glass of Time which I bought on publication and I enjoyed a lot, though it's sort of predictable for the readers of The Meaning of Night and lacks the dramatic punch of the great debut but brings to a satisfying closure the story of passion and revenge started in it.

This is the stunning line opener of The Meaning of Night that made it a buy on the spot when I opened it by chance at a bookstore a while ago and it not only became an instant classic for me, but it spurred a revival in my interest in "Victoriana", leading to the discovery of other great authors like Sarah Waters:

"After killing the red-haired man, I took myself to Quinn's for an oyster supper.."



tomlloyd said...

Ah, that's a shame - I really enjoyed the Meaning of Night, a very fine book and one people should seek out.

Liviu said...

I was stunned to see the announcement last night.

There are mentions of health problems in the preface to Glass of Time from what I recall, but I had no idea they were so severe.

twinsburgbob said...

I just heard about Michael passing. I meet him when he came to the U.S. on his Meaning of Night tour. I was moderating a mystery book group at the time and his publisher sent me a review copy. We spent a long time talking about mysteries and victorian authors. What a gentleman he was. He will be missed.

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