Amy Levy: Her Life & Letters

Amy Levy: Her Life & Letters

by Linda Hunt Beckman
     
 

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After a century of critical neglect, poet and writer Amy Levy is gaining recognition as a literary figure of stature.

This definitive biography accompanied by her letters, along with the recent publication of her selected writings, provides a critical appreciation of Levy's importance in her own time and in ours.

As an educated Jewish woman with homoerotic

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Overview

After a century of critical neglect, poet and writer Amy Levy is gaining recognition as a literary figure of stature.

This definitive biography accompanied by her letters, along with the recent publication of her selected writings, provides a critical appreciation of Levy's importance in her own time and in ours.

As an educated Jewish woman with homoerotic desires, Levy felt the strain of combating the structures of British society in the 1880s, the decade in which she built her career and moved in London's literary and bohemian circles. Unwilling to cut herself off from her Jewish background, she had the additional burden of attempting to bridge the gap between communities.

In Amy Levy: Her Life and Letters Linda Hunt Beckman examines Levy's writings and other cultural documents for insight into her emotional and intellectual life. This groundbreaking study introduces us to a woman well deserving of a place in literary and cultural history.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The poetry and fiction of Amy Levy (1861-89) have faded into obscurity. But in this important biography, which complements The Complete Novels and Selected Writings of Amy Levy, edited by Melvyn New and published in 1993, Beckman (English, Ohio Univ.) seeks to rectify this oversight. Born to a large, middle-class Jewish family in Victorian England, Levy spent most of her 27 years attempting to bridge the gap between the religious roots she was loath to forsake and the literary circles she sought to join. Her homosexuality guaranteed further alienation. In her fiction, most notably the novel Reuben Sachs (1888), Levy described the cultural glass ceiling Jews in England continuously faced. Sadly, most of the accolades for Levy's work came in the form of obituaries (by such luminaries as Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats) after her 1889 suicide. Beckman includes Levy's letters in the appendix, which serves as an excellent complement to the lucid narrative and a way to hear her long-silent voice. Highly recommended for larger literature collections.--Diane Gardner Premo, Rochester P.L., NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Ruth Bernard (Ed.) Yeazell
Amy Levy: Her Life and Letters is a valuable guide to its subject...Beckman is always careful to make clear on what grounds she has constructed her hypotheses. She is especially good at sorting out the different voicesin which Levy speaks...She also succeeds in dispelling some of the myths that have persisted in attaching themselves to Levy.
London Review of Books
From the Publisher
“This is a seminal study, offering sensitive and informed interpretation of a ‘witty, troubled, gifted, ironic, and singular young woman negotiating the troubled waters of her time.’ Beckman’s volume is recommended for upper-division undergraduates through professionals and for general readers.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780821413302
Publisher:
Ohio University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Pages:
344
Product dimensions:
5.96(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.89(d)

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