DEVON COX, Ph.D., is an American-born writer and historian currently living and working in London. His debut biography, The Street of Wonderful Possibilities: Whistler, Wilde & Sargent in Tite Street, was nominated for the William MB Berger Prize in British Art History. He is currently working on a new biography of the artist John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).
'A well-informed, nicely produced book about Tite Street in merrier, cheaper times, when it could claim to the be epicentre of art in England.'
'This book is a fascinating and absorbing record of a time when Chelsea was at the edge of the avant garde.'
'Cox has done an admirable job of marshalling his material ... The book is well-populated with the voices of its protagonists and their critics, lending it a rich anecdotal texture and allowing the great egos of Tite Street to speak for themselves.'
-Thomas Marks, The Telegraph
'... with paintings by Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Walter Sickert and others from their Tite Street circle, The Street of Wonderful Possibilities covers the idol worship, arrogance, incestuousness and innovation emerging from this slice of the city.'
'This exceptionally handsome book - a biography of the street, its residents and their connections - elucidates some of [Tite Street's] possibilities. And pretty wonderful they are too.'
-Matthew Sturgis, Country Life
'Cox's beautifully written book is not only a scholarly and entertaining description of a vanished world but also a valuable work of reference.'
-Jane Dorrell, the Chelsea Society
'This well-researched, and eminently readable biography of one street in London, whose occupants make up a dramatic personae of outstanding talent over a period of 120 years ... The result, with a red ribbon tastefully tied around it, would make a lovely box of chocolates.'s.'
'Cox paints an ingenious group portrait of the artists, writers, critics, architects and luvvies who pursued the muse to Chelsea. The new houses being built to residents' specifications in Tite Street weren't just homes or studios but, Cox argues, expressions of aesthetic ideologies... in bricks and mortar.'
'What a group biography ... Cox bounces back and forth across Tite Street, rallying his subjects like characters in a high-class soap opera... an assured and dazzling debut.'
'... an engrossing, detailed and somewhat melancholy group biography.'
'... an important book.'
-Peter York, World of Interiors
'What a marvellous, magical discovery this is. Constance Wilde, as ever, deserves our respect, attention and thanks. As you go through this remarkable book, the Victorian voices fly from the pages, bringing the Wilde household and its circle stunningly alive.'
'This beautiful book, full of fascinating detail, opens a door to an extraordinary world and introduces us to a remarkable woman. The more we know of Constance Wilde and her circle, the more time we want to spend with them.'
'This important record kept by Constance is a strong reminder of her own interests, the company she sought and the affection in which he was held. It is a tribute to Mrs Oscar, as she was once known, and provides important context to our understanding of the domestic life that Oscar shared with his wife.'
-Franny Moyle, author of Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde
'While explaining the significance of Constance Wilde’s autograph book and showing the centrality of its creator within the late-Victorian cultural scene, Devon Cox’s important volume does much more, for it also demonstrates brilliantly how and why to study neglected areas of nineteenth-century women’s material arts and provides a model for future work. Like other overlooked forms such as birthday books, this autograph book has a great story to tell — in this case, about the Wildes’ world — and Cox proves the perfect scholarly editor and interpreter. Readers will come away with a new appreciation of Constance as a socially and politically savvy figure who deployed the so-called feminine and domestic tools at hand as shrewdly as Oscar used epigrams.'
-Margaret D. Stetz
Professor of Women’s Studies, University of Delaware
'A vivid snapshot of the intellectual and social world of the Oscar Wildes in their Tite Street home: a wonderful historical recovery, beautifully presented.'
-Matthew Sturgis, author of Oscar: A Life
'What an absolute joy it is to have Constance Wilde’s fascinating autograph book available to us all in such a lovely, wonderfully curated edition. In his introductory essay, Devon Cox does a magnificent job of illuminating and contextualising Constance’s intriguing life, lifting her free of her husband’s orbit. She is revealed as a progressive woman with a keen interest in literature and music, and a curiosity about the occult. Anyone who is fascinated by Oscar Wilde will welcome this extensively annotated reproduction, which gives us a fascinating portal into the lives of this extraordinary couple and their vibrant circle. Comprehensive profiles of each signatory, and details of the circumstances in which they added their contributions, make it accessible to scholars and interested readers alike. A beautiful book, a wonderful gift, it breathes new life into Constance Wilde’s friendships, interests and accomplishments. An enthralling and valuable resource, it will be treasured for generations to come.'
-Eleanor Fitzsimmons, author of Wilde's Women