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Amy Levy was a talented Anglo-Jewish writer who committed suicide at the age of 28 in 1889. During her brief career she published essays, short stories, three novels, and three collections of poetry, but none of them is in print today and her works are to be found almost solely in the closed stacks and rare book collections of university libraries.
To correct this unavailability and set the stage for a generous selection of her work, Melvyn New introduces Amy Levy as an unmarried Victorian woman and an urban intellectual, disillusioned by the mores of her culture, yet unable to abandon her identification with the English Jews who embodied so much of what she scorned. He reconstructs her world in 1880s Englanda time when the president of the British Medical Association warned his colleagues that educated women would become "more or less sexless. . . . [Such women] have highly developed brains but most of them die young"raising questions that lead to the tortured heart and mind of this "found" writer.
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About the Author
Melvyn New, professor of English and former chair of the English Department at the University of Florida, is the author of Telling New Lies: Seven Essays in Fiction, Past and Present (UPF, 1992), Laurence Sterne as Satirist: A Reading of "Tristram Shandy" (1969), and the general editor of The Florida Edition of the Works of Laurence Sterne (Tristram Shandy and its annotation, vols. 1-3, UPF, 1978-84).