Brigid Antonia Brophy, Lady Levey (12 June 1929 – 7 August 1995) was an English writer. In the Dictionary of Literary Biography: British Novelists since 1960, S. J. Newman described her as "one of the oddest, most brilliant, and most enduring of [the] 1960s symptoms."

She was a feminist and pacifist who expressed controversial opinions on marriage, the Vietnam War, religious education in schools, sex, and pornography.[1] She was a vocal campaigner for animal rights and vegetarianism. A 1965 Sunday Times article by Brophy is credited by psychologist Richard D. Ryder with having triggered the formation of the animal rights movement in England.[2]

Brophy married art historian Sir Michael Levey in 1954. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1983.[1]


Brophy was born in London, and attended The Abbey School, Reading, between May 1941 and July 1943. She then attended St Paul's Girls' School in London, before attending Oxford for a year.[3]

Writings by the authorEdit


  • The Crown Princess and Other Stories, Viking (New York, NY), 1953.
  • Hackenfeller's Ape, Hart-Davis (London), 1953, Random House (New York, NY), 1954, Virago Press (London), 1991.
  • The King of a Rainy Country, Secker & Warburg (London), 1956, Knopf (New York, NY), 1957, reprinted with afterword, Virago Press, 1990.
  • Flesh, Secker & Warburg, 1962, World (Cleveland, OH), 1963.
  • The Finishing Touch (also see below), Secker & Warburg, 1963, revised edition, GMP (London), 1987.
  • The Snow Ball (also see below), Secker & Warburg, 1964.
  • The Finishing Touch [and] The Snow Ball, World, 1964.
  • The Burglar (play; first produced in London at Vaudeville Theatre, February 22, 1967), Holt (New York, NY), 1968.
  • In Transit: An Heroicycle Novel, Macdonald & Co. (London), 1969, Putnam (New York, NY), 1970, Dalkey Archive Press, (Chicago, IL), 2002.
  • The Adventures of God in His Search for the Black Girl: A Novel and Some Fables, Macmillan (London), 1973, Little, Brown and Company (Boston), 1974.
  • Pussy Owl: Superbeast (for children), illustrated by Hilary Hayton, BBC Publications (London), 1976.
  • Palace without Chairs: A Baroque Novel, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1978.


  • Black Ship to Hell, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1962.
  • Mozart the Dramatist: A New View of Mozart, His Operas and His Age, Harcourt, 1964, revised edition, Da Capo (New York, NY), 1990.
  • Don't Never Forget: Collected Views and Reviews, Cape (London), 1966, Holt, 1967.
  • (With husband, Michael Levey, and Charles Osborne) Fifty Works of English and American Literature We Could Do Without, Rapp & Carroll (London), 1967, Stein & Day (New York, NY), 1968.
  • Religious Education in State Schools, Fabian Society (London), 1967.
  • Black and White: A Portrait of Aubrey Beardsley, Cape, 1968, Stein & Day, 1969.
  • The Rights of Animals, Animal Defence and Anti-Vivisection Society, (London), 1969.
  • The Longford Threat to Freedom, National Secular Society (London), 1972.
  • Prancing Novelist: A Defence of Fiction in the Form of a Critical Biography in Praise of Ronald Firbank, Barnes & Noble (New York, NY), 1973.
  • Beardsley and His World, Harmony Books (New York, NY), 1976.
  • The Prince and the Wild Geese, pictures by Gregoire Gagarin, Hamish Hamilton (London), 1982, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1983.
  • A Guide to Public Lending Right, Gower (Hampshire, England), 1983.
  • Baroque 'n' Roll and Other Essays, David & Charles (North Pomfret, VT), 1987.
  • Reads: A Collection of Essays, Cardinal (London), 1989.


  • Best Short Plays of the World Theatre, 1958-1967, Crown (New York, NY), 1968
  • Animals, Men and Morals, edited by Stanley and Roslind Godlovitch and John Harris, Gollancz (London), 1971
  • The Genius of Shaw, edited by Michael Holroyd, Hodder & Stoughton (London), 1979
  • Animal Rights: A Symposium, edited by D. Paterson and R. D. Ryder, Centaur Press (West Sussex, England), 1979
  • Shakespeare Stories, edited by Giles Gordon, Hamish Hamilton, 1982.

A collection of Brophy's manuscripts are housed in Lilly Library at Indiana University at Bloomington.

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