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Short poem

Selected Poetry of Amy Levy (1861-1889)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Image of Amy Levy

Index to poems

But in a hideous masquerade
All things dance on, the ages through.
        (Magdalen, 71-72)
  1. Ballade of an Omnibus
  2. Epitaph (on a Commonplace Person Who Died in Bed)
  3. In the Mile End Road
  4. Magdalen
  5. To Lallie

Notes on Life and Works

Born in Clapham, graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge, and living her adult life mainly at the family home, 7 Endsleigh Gardens, London, Amy Levy was a feminist Jewish poet and novelist of distinction. She published three volumes of verse, Xantippe and other Verse (1881), A Minor Poet and Other Poems (1884; 1894), and A London Plane-Tree and Other Verse (posthumously in 1889). She also brought out three novels in 1888, Miss Meredith, The Romance of a Shop, and what made her notorious, Reuben Sachs, a story of greed and promiscuity in London Jewish life. Exhaustion and depression were factors in her suicide, at only 27 years old, as a result of breathing in charcoal fumes at her home. Melvyn New has edited The Complete Novels and Selected Writings of Amy Levy, 1861-1889 (Gainsville: University Press of Florida, 1993; PR 4886 L25A12). For a short life, see Edward Wagenknecht, Daughters of the Covenant: Portraits of Six Jewish Women (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1983; E 184 J5W14 Robarts Library).

Biographical information

Given name: Amy
Family name: Levy
Birth date: 10 November 1861
Death date: 10 September 1889
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: Lewis Levy
          mother: Isabelle Levy
          Newnham College, Cambridge
Religion: Jewish
Literary period: Victorian
          7 Endsleigh Gardens, London to 10 September 1889
          Clapham: 10 November 1861
Illness: Depression
Cause of death: Suicide
First RPO edition: 1998