About this item

A. S. Byatt's beloved novel - winner of the Booker Prize and an international best seller - is a spellbinding intellectual mystery and an utterly transfixing love story.

Roland Michell and Maud Bailey are young academics in the 1980s researching the lives of two Victorian literary figures: the major poet Randolph Henry Ash and the lesser-known "fairy poetess" Christabel LaMotte. After coming across hints of a long-buried and potentially explosive secret in the poets' letters and journals, Maud and Roland join forces to track their subjects' movements from London to Yorkshire to Brittany, tracing clues embedded in poems and hunting down evidence in dusty archives and in a freshly opened grave. Their eagerness to uncover the truth draws the two lonely scholars together, but what they discover will have implications they could not have imagined.

An extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas, POSSESSION is woven throughout with invented historical documents and poetry of dazzling richness and depth, bringing Byatt's Victorian characters vividly to life. The result is both a gripping story and a brilliant exploration of the nature of love and obsession - and of what we can know about the past.

Book Jacket Status: Jacketed

Introduction by Philip Hensher

About the Author

A. S. Byatt

A.S. Byatt (Antonia Susan Byatt) is internationally known for her novels and short stories. Her novels include the winner and , and her highly acclaimed collections of short stories include and her most recent book . A distinguished critic as well as a writer of fiction, A S Byatt was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999. BYATT, Dame Antonia (Susan) , (Dame Antonia Duffy) , DBE 1999 (CBE 1990) ; FRSL 1983; Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) , 2003 , writer; born 24 Aug. 1936;Daughter of His Honour John Frederick Drabble, QC and late Kathleen Marie BloorByatt has famously been engaged in a long-running feud with her novelist sister, , over the alleged appropriation of a family tea-set in one of her novels. The pair seldom see each other and each does not read the books of the other. Married1st, 1959, Ian Charles Rayner Byatt (Sir I. C. R. Byatt) marriage dissolved. 1969; one daughter (one son deceased) 2nd, 1969, Peter John Duffy; two daughters. EducationSheffield High School; The Mount School, York; Newnham College, Cambridge (BA Hons; Hon. Fellow 1999) ; Bryn Mawr College, Philadelphia, USA; Somerville College, Oxford. Academic Honours:Hon. Fellow, London Inst. , 2000; Fellow UCL, 2004Hon. DLitt: Bradford, 1987; DUniv York, 1991; Durham, 1991; Nottingham, 1992; Liverpool, 1993; Portsmouth, 1994; London, 1995; Sheffield, 2000; Kent 2004; Hon. LittD Cambridge, 1999PrizesThe PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Of Fiction prize, 1986 for STILL LIFEThe Booker Prize, 1990, for POSSESSIONIrish Times/Aer Lingus International Fiction Prize, 1990 for POSSESSIONThe Eurasian section of Best Book in Commonwealth Prize, 1991 for POSSESSIONPremio Malaparte, Capri, 1995;Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, California, 1998 for THE DJINN IN THE NIGHTINGALE''S EYEShakespeare Prize, Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg, 2002;Publications:The Shadow of the Sun, 1964;Degrees of Freedom, 1965 (reprinted as Degrees of Freedom: the early novels of Iris Murdoch, 1994) ;The Game, 1967;Wordsworth and Coleridge in their Time, 1970 (reprinted as Unruly Times: Wordsworth and Coleridge in their Time, 1989) ;Iris Murdoch 1976The Virgin in the Garden, 1978;GEORGE ELIOT Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings , 1979 (editor) ;Still Life, 1985Sugar and Other Stories, 1987;George Eliot: selected essays, 1989 (editor) Possession: a romance, 1990Robert Browning''s Dramatic Monologues, 1990 (editor) ;Passions of the Mind, (essays) , 1991;Angels and Insects (novellae) ,1992The Matisse Stories (short stories) ,1993;The Djinn in the Nightingale''s Eye: five fairy stories, 1994Imagining Characters, 1995 (joint editor) ;New Writing 4, 1995 (joint editor) ;Babel Tower, 1996;New Writing 6, 1997 (joint editor) ;The Oxford Book of English Short Stories, 1998 (editor) ;Elementals: Stories of fire and ice (short stories) , 1998;The Biographer''s Tale, 2000;On Histories and Stories (essays) , 2000;Portraits in Fiction, 2001;The Bird Ha

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