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Lot 283
LEVY, AMY (1861-1889) AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HER POEM 'AT DAWN', signed, [1889]
Sold for £3,500 (US$ 5,719) inc. premium

Lot Details
LEVY, AMY (1861-1889)
AUTOGRAPH MANUSCRIPT OF HER POEM 'AT DAWN', signed ('Amy Levy'), 8 lines, possibly the printer's copy (name 'Moore' and symbols in pencil at head), 1 page, small folio, light dust-stains (printer's marks?) [1889]

In the night I dreamed of you;
All the place was filled
With y[ou]r presence, in my heart
The strife was stilled.

All night I have dreamed of you
Now the morn is grey.
How shall I arise & face
The empty day!

MANUSCRIPT MATERIAL BY AMY LEVY IS VERY RARE; her archive was sold to one buyer and only one single poem has appeared at auction. 'At Dawn' was first printed in her posthumous collection London Plane-Trees and Other Verse, 1889. She was among the first English poets to show the influence of French symbolism.

A poet, novelist, essayist and story writer, Amy Levy was the second Jewish woman to attend Cambridge, the first at Newnham and the first Jewish woman in England to be cremated. She was noted for her feminist views, free-thinking and engagement with homosexual romance. The subject of 'At Dawn' was perhaps Vernon Lee (Violet Paget) with whom it has been mooted that Levy was in love. She committed suicide and Oscar Wilde, who admired her talents and published her, wrote her obituary and called her 'a girl of genius.'

PROVENANCE: John Hart.

REFERENCES: Christine Pullen, The Woman Who Dared, 2010; Linda Hunt Beckman, Amy Levy: Her Life and Letters, 2000.
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