As if 2020 couldn’t get any worse, it’s with great sadness that I share the news that author Josephine Cox, who also wrote under Jo Cox and Jane Brindle, has died aged 82.
I can’t find a reliable source on how she died, but I can only hope that she was comfortable and had her loved ones by her side when she passed.
The author is renowned for romantic fiction and novels about the strength of family, such as Two Sisters, one of her most acclaimed titles.
Her novels sold more than 20 million copies during her lifetime, according to her publishers, and she wrote prolifically, publishing more than 60 books throughout her long and illustrious career.
Cox came from humble beginnings, being one of 10 children. She married young and had kids, then started studying once they got older.
She even managed to achieve a coveted place at the prestigious Cambridge University, which she had to turn down due to her circumstances as she was unable to study away from home while she had young children.
From there, she became a teacher and imparted her wisdom and knowledge to the young. At the same time, she started to forge a career in writing, creating memorable characters and innovative plots that featured strong female protagonists like the author herself.
If anything, Cox’s own tale of overcoming adversity and making a name for herself in a world where the odds were stacked against her, being a woman, and a working class one at that, is like something out of one of her novels.
Many of her heroines overcome tough odds to rise above their stations and make something of themselves, and it’s clear that this drive and determination was, at least in part, based on the author’s own life and the challenges that she overcome.
It can’t have been easy, raising children, running a home, teaching and writing novels that would go on to become popular bestsellers, but somehow this intrepid author managed this spectacular feat.
While Cox’s work isn’t to everyone’s taste, there’s no doubt that she has left behind an immense legacy of literary excellence. Even if you can’t exactly remember her name, you’ll definitely have seen some of her books, and will recognise the bold, blocky font and quaint illustrations that characterised their front covers.
Thanks to her bold writing style, relatable characters and romantic plot lines, Cox became the inspiration for many modern romantic writers. She was one of the most prolific, and has kept up the momentum thanks to her knack for writing work that resonated with older readers and idealists.
This year hasn’t been an easy one for anyone, and for fans of romantic bestsellers this is yet another blow. However, Josephine Cox lives on in her immense collection of books, which readers should take comfort in over the coming months.