Cook, Edward Dutton (DNB00)
COOK, EDWARD DUTTON (1829–1883), dramatic critic and author, was son of George Simon Cook of Grantham, Lincolnshire, a solicitor, of the firm of Le Blanc & Cook, 18 New Bridge Street, Blackfriars, London, who died on 12 Sept. 1852, leaving a family of nine children. Edward Dutton, the second son, was born at 9 Grenville Street, Brunswick Square, London, on 30 Jan. 1829. At the age of six he went to a school kept by a Miss Boswell at Haverstock Hill, was removed to another school at Bradmore House, Chiswick, and finally, about 1843, entered King's College School. Having completed his education, he was articled to his father, and remained in his office about four years, when he obtained a situation in the Madras Railway Company's office in New Broad Street, city of London, and in his spare time followed his artistic and literary tastes. As soon as he was able to do so he left the railway company and devoted himself entirely to literature as a profession. Having studied painting under Rolt, and learned engraving, he at one time sought employment on ‘Punch’ as a draughtsman on wood. In 1859 he became a member of the Artists' rifle corps, and also a member of the Ramblers' Club, which met every night from November to May at Dick's Tavern, 8 Fleet Street. About this period, in conjunction with Mr. Leopold Lewis, he wrote a melodrama entitled ‘The Dove and the Serpent,’ which was produced with much success, under Mr. Nelson Lee's management, at the City of London Theatre. From 1867 to October 1875 he was dramatic critic to the ‘Pall Mall Gazette,’ and from that date to his death to the ‘World’ newspaper. He was the writer of numerous articles on art topics in various reviews, newspapers, and periodicals, and the author of many works of fiction. Of the latter, ‘Paul Foster's Daughter,’ his first work, served to establish his reputation, and the production of ‘The Trials of the Tredgolds’ in the following year (1862) in ‘Temple Bar’ was a great literary success. His later novels did not maintain the popularity which his earlier works achieved. This was from no lack of merit, but because he was not sufficiently sensational in his style to suit the spirit and fashion of the period. He was one of the contributors to this ‘Dictionary,’ and furnished the dramatic and theatrical lives in letter A to the first and second volumes. He died suddenly of heart disease on 11 Sept. 1883, and was buried in Highgate cemetery on 15 Sept. He married, on 20 Aug. 1874, Linda Scates (second daughter of Joseph Scates), a pupil of the Royal Academy of Music and a well-known pianist, by whom he left one daughter, named Sylvia after the heroine of her father's first novel. He was the writer of the following works:
- ‘Paul Foster's Daughter,’ 1861.
- ‘Leo,’ 1863.
- ‘A Prodigal Son,’ 1863.
- ‘The Trials of the Tredgolds,’ 1864.
- ‘Sir Felix Foy, Bart.,’ 1865.
- ‘Hobson's Choice,’ 1867.
- ‘Dr. Muspratt's Patients, and other Stories,’ 1868.
- ‘Over Head and Ears,’ 1868.
- ‘Art in England, Notes and Studies,’ 1869.
- ‘Young Mrs. Nightingale,’ 1874.
- ‘The Banns of Marriage,’ 1875.
- ‘A Book of the Play: Studies and Illustrations of Histrionic Story, Life, and Character,’ 1876, three editions.
- ‘Doubleday's Children,’ 1877.
- ‘Hours with the Players,’ 1881.
- ‘Nights at the Play, a view of the English Stage,’ 1883.
- ‘On the Stage: Studies of Theatrical History and the Actor's Art,’ 1883.
[Times, 13 Sept. 1883, p. 7, 14 Sept. p. 8; Graphic, 29 Sept. 1883, pp. 314, 321, with portrait; Theatre, November 1883, pp. 212, 272, with portrait; Longman's Mag. December 1883, pp. 179–87; information from his brother, Mr. Septimus Cook.]