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Book Title: A London Plane-Tree and Other Verse, and Xantippe and Other Verse|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 37.89 MB
The author of the book: Amy Levy
Edition: Dodo Press
Date of issue: March 28th 2008
ISBN 13: 9781406596458
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Reader ratings: 5.8
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Amy Levy (1861-1889) was a British poet and novelist. Levy was born in Clapham, London into a Jewish family that was mildly observant, but as an adult she no longer practised Judaism although she continued to identify with the Jews as a people. Levy wrote stories, essays and poems for periodicals, some popular and others literary. The stories Cohen of Trinity and Wise in Their Generation, both published in Oscar Wilde's magazine Women's World, are among her best. Her final book of poems, A London Plane-Tree and Other Verse (1889), contains lyrics that are among the first to show the influence of French symbolism. Her other works include Xantippe and Other Verse (1881), The Romance of a Shop (1888), Reuben Sachs (1888) and Miss Meredith (1889).
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Read information about the authorLevy was born in Clapham, London, the second daughter of Lewis Levy and Isobel Levin. Her Jewish family was mildly observant, but as an adult Levy no longer practised Judaism; she continued to identify with the Jews as a people.
She was educated at Brighton High School, Brighton, and studied at Newnham College, Cambridge; she was the first Jewish student at Newnham, when she arrived in 1879, but left after four terms.
Her circle of friends included Clementina Black, Dollie Radford, Eleanor Marx (daughter of Karl Marx), and Olive Schreiner. Levy wrote stories, essays, and poems for periodicals, some popular and others literary. Her writing career began early; her poem "Ida Grey" appearing in the journal the Pelican when she was only fourteen. The stories "Cohen of Trinity" and "Wise in Their Generation," both published in Oscar Wilde's magazine "Women's World," are among her best. Her second novel Reuben Sachs (1888) was concerned with Jewish identity and mores in the England of her time (and was consequently controversial); Her first novel Romance of a Shop (1888) depicts four sisters who experience the pleasures and hardships of running a business in London during the 1880s. Other writings as well, including the daring Ballad of Religion and Marriage, reveal feminist concerns. Xantippe and Other Verses (1881) includes a poem in the voice of Socrates's wife; the volume A Minor Poet and Other Verse (1884) has dramatic monologues too, as well as lyric poems. In 1886, Levy began writing a series of essays on Jewish culture and literature for the Jewish Chronicle, including The Ghetto at Florence, The Jew in Fiction, Jewish Humour and Jewish Children. Her final book of poems, A London Plane-Tree (1889), contains lyrics that are among the first to show the influence of French symbolism.
Traveling in Europe, she met Vernon Lee in Florence in 1886, and it has been said that she fell in love with her. Vernon Lee (Violet Paget), the fiction writer and literary theorist, was six years older, and inspired the poem To Vernon Lee.
Despite many friends and an active literary life, Levy had suffered from episodes of major depression from an early age which, together with her growing deafness, led her to commit suicide on September 10, 1889, at the age of twenty-seven, by inhaling carbon monoxide. Oscar Wilde wrote an obituary for her in Women's World in which he praised her gifts.