Amy Levy was born in London in 1861 and died in 1889, just a few months short of her 28th birthday.  In her brief life she wrote two novels, both well received, and several volumes of poetry which explored the changing role of Victorian women in the closing years of the 19th century.

Romance of A Shop, her first novel, was published in 1888.  Praised by Oscar Wilde who, reviewing it for Woman’s World, thought it  ‘admirably done … clever and full of quick observation,’ her little novel seemed to herald a brilliant career.

Ostensibly the story of four young ladies who, after the death of their father, decide to open a photographic studio in the heart of London’s bohemia (to the dismay of their more priggish relatives) the book, like much of Levy’s work, is concerned with the contradictions besetting the ‘new’ Victorian woman who, in her quest for independence finds herself constrained by anachronistic social mores and conflicting values.

Written just two years before her tragic suicide, Romance of A Shop, at times sweet and charming, has a resonance that goes beyond its apparent innocence, echoing an undertone of despair and hunger for a liberation that, to Levy’s misfortune, came only some years afterwards.


Romance of a Shop
Amy Levy

£12.00, $18.00, €14.00


ISBN 9781900355759

UK and European Orders

UK Sterling



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