Amy Levy
Critical Essays

Edited by Naomi Hetherington and Nadia Valman

“This is a collection that will vastly enhance our understanding of Victorian culture, the nuances of Anglo-Jewish identity, the struggles of Victorian feminism, and the singular achievement of a writer whose complexity is finally coming into focus.”

Karen Weisman, Department of English and Center for Jewish Studies, University of Toronto

“This splendid collection of essays will contribute to the ongoing reassessment of Amy Levy as a complex and challenging writer…. (A) rich and complex portrait of a writer who…might just be representative rather than marginal, and who certainly complicated her own meditation on what it means to be a minor writer.”

Victorian Studies

“Thoughtful in selection and rigorous in scholarship, this volume introduces new readers to Levy’s life and works, refines and expands on the major themes of extant criticism, and considers entirely new ways of analyzing Levy’s work…. Amy Levy: Critical Essays is a powerful argument for the value of Amy Levy to our understanding of late Victorian literature.”

Nineteenth Century Gender Studies

“Collectively, these essays demonstrate that Levy was fully engaged in dominant discourses around politics, feminism, aesthetics and Jewish identity of her day. For undergraduates and advanced scholars of Levy's work and historical moment, therefore, this volume will prove an invaluable resource.”

New Books on Literature 19

Amy Levy has risen to prominence in recent years as one of the most innovative and perplexing writers of her generation. Embraced by feminist scholars for her radical experimentation with queer poetic voice and her witty journalistic pieces on female independence, she remains controversial for her representations of London Jewry that draw unmistakably on contemporary antisemitic discourse.

Amy Levy: Critical Essays brings together scholars working in the fields of Victorian cultural history, women’s poetry and fiction, and the history of Anglo-Jewry. The essays trace the social, intellectual, and political contexts of Levy’s writing and its contemporary reception. Working from close analyses of Levy’s texts, the collection aims to rethink her engagement with Jewish identity, to consider her literary and political identifications, to assess her representations of modern consumer society and popular culture, and to place her life and work within late-Victorian cultural debate.

This book is essential reading for undergraduate and postgraduate students offering both a comprehensive literature review of scholarship-to-date and a range of new critical perspectives.

Susan David Bernstein, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Gail Cunningham, Kingston University
Elizabeth F. Evans, Pennslyvania State University–DuBois
Emma Francis, Warwick University
Alex Goody, Oxford Brookes University
T. D. Olverson, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Lyssa Randolph, University of Wales, Newport
Meri-Jane Rochelson, Florida International University

Naomi Hetherington teaches nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Nadia Valman is a senior lecturer in English at Queen Mary, University of London.

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Related Subjects

Victorian Studies · Europe · Northern Europe · United Kingdom · Jewish Studies · Gender Studies · Women’s Studies · British Literature · Literary Studies · 19th century



Retail price: $29.95, S.
Release date: Apr. 2010
Rights: World


Retail price: $64.95, S.
Release date: Apr. 2010
Rights: World


Release date: Apr. 2010
Rights: World

Additional Praise for Amy Levy

“Eschewing tragic readings of Levy’s life—she committed suicide at 28—these uniformly strong essays locate Levy in such contexts as late-Victorian feminism, discourses of female professionalism, and evengelicalism. The essays cover the full range of Levy’s work…. Highly recommended.


“A great strength of this volume, and the reason why it deserves to find an audience beyond scholars who specialize in Levy’s work, is the care the contributors take to bring the broader historical context into their discussion.”

Shofar Book Reviews