954 Biography 24.4 (Fall 2001) Linda Hunt Beckman. Amy Levy: Her Life and Letters. Athens: Ohio UP, 2000. 384 pp. ISBN 0-8214-1329-5, $49.95 cloth; ISBN 0-8214-1330- 9, $24.00 paper. More than a decade ago, the received wisdom about the Victorian writer Amy Levy ran something like this: The second Jewish woman to enroll at Cambridge, Levy published an impressive amount of poetry, non-fiction articles, and fiction, including three novels, before committing suicide at the age of twenty-seven. Although toward the end of her life she published essays in a Jewish periodical, her major novel, Reuben Sachs, also a product of her later years, contains some ugly anti-Semitic stereotypes. What interests me today about this crude outline is that the information I have characterized as received wisdom was passed on to me by Linda Hunt (now Beckman) who was applying for research funding to begin a biography of Amy Levy. At her request—since we’d been in a feminist scholars’ group together in the early 70s and had met once or twice at professional meetings thereafter—I wrote a letter of recommendation, she got the grant, and the result is a volume that challenges the received wisdom about Levy at every turn.
Biography – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Sep 1, 2001
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