Simon Cooke holds B.A. and M.A. degrees (Birmingham), a doctorate from Exeter, and teaching qualifications from the Open University and the University of Leicester.
From 1986 until 2001 he was a tutor in adult education for the School of Continuing Studies, University of Birmingham, spending a good part of that time as the Director of Studies for the Certificate and Diploma programmes in Modern Art. Simon Cooke has also worked as a lecturer and researcher for Coventry University and the University of Exeter, and as a vocational adviser. He is currently employed as a teacher specializing in sixth form studies in English language and literature.
Simon Cooke has published a range of articles on Victorian literature, art and illustration. His specialist interests include Gothic and Sensationalism; Pre-Raphaelite literature; cultural readings of Victorian texts; book illustration of the 1860s; and the book as a material form. His essays have appeared in a range of American and British journals, including Dickens Studies Annual, Dickens Quarterly, Victorian Periodicals Review, Bronte Studies, The Private Library, VIJ, the Thomas Hardy Journal, The Wilkie Collins Journal, and a number of others.
His book, Illustrated Periodicals of the 1860s: A Study of Contexts and Collaborations, is in production, and should be published in the Summer or Autumn of 2009.
Simon Cooke is currently serving as a member of the editorial panel of Gary William Crawford's on-line journal, Le Fanu Studies, and (with Professor Paul Goldman) is in the process of planning a book of essays on Victorian illustration.
Cooke is a great collector of Victorian illustrated texts, and has a large library of firsts by Dickens and Thackeray, gift books, children's books, picture books, and periodicals of the 1860s.
His outside interests include writing poetry; visiting ancient monuments (an interest that extends from Neolithic circles and tombs to castles and the great cathedrals); playing the guitar (badly); film; and good food. He is proud to be a Welsh borderer, with mixed Welsh and English ancestry, and most enjoys his time in the Marches to the west of Hereford.
Simon Cooke is married and has two small sons, Laurence and Timothy.
Last modified 6 May 2009