Biography Amy Levy

Amy Levy

photo of Amy Levy
  • Time Period1861 - 1889
  • PlaceLondon
  • CountryEngland

Poet Biography

Amy Levy was born in London, England in 1861. She was the 2nd of 7 children into a somewhat wealthy Anglo-Jewish family. The children of the family read and participated in secular literary activities and the family frequently took part in home theatricals -- they firmly integrated into Victorian life.

The children of the household would "publish" literary magazines with Levy contributing poetry and plays. At the age of 15 Levy was sent to Brighton to study at Brighton High School and she lived in her own apartment and her family would come down to visit.

In 1880 her first book of poetry Xantrippe and other verses was published. Her friends were young literary men and women with Socialist leanings.

Since childhood Levy had suffered from periods of depression but she continued to write and publish as well as travel in Europe.

At the end of her life, her mental health had deteriorated beyond all recovery and on September 10, 1889 she shut herself in her room and lit charcoal and then inhaled the fumes; she was found later dead by her mother and sister, she was 28 years old.