Friday, August 26, 2011

Amy Levy

My undergraduate thesis was on "forgotten" 19th century female poets. Although in the initial stages of research I worked on British women, I ended up focusing on American women, including Francis E.W. Harper. That said, I was shocked at how many women were writing and were known as writers. (I was unsurprised by the amount of poems published by "A Lady" or some other basically untraceable name.) One of these women happened to be Amy Levy.
Levy's life was fascinating. Her first novel, Romance of the Shop, focused on the conditions of the "new women," women who refrained from marriage and instead pursued careers. Her novel would make an excellent study, both from a literary and historical perspective, of how women grappled with a society that looked down on their choices. Other of Levy's writings are probably worth exploring, since her novel Reuben Sachs dealt with the Jewish community in London.

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