The Woman Who Dared: A Biography of Amy Levy

Described by Oscar Wilde as a girl of genius, like him Amy Levy set out to challenge the status quo and ended up by destroying her life. A trailblazer from the outset, she was the first Jewish woman to study at Newnham College Cambridge, a seasoned traveller, and a ground-breaking writer. But although her spirit was strong, her constitution was weak. Haunted throughout her life by depression, the difficulties that she faced as a free-thinking Jewish woman in Victorian society were compounded by problems that she brought upon herself. In the end she was unable to reconcile what Wilde termed the cravings of her heart with the reality of her life. Unable to face the future, she brought her unhappiness to an end with an extraordinary self-inflicted death.