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Possession (Everyman's Library (Cloth)) Hardcover – October 29, 2013

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Product Details

  • Series: Everyman's Library (Cloth)
  • Hardcover: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library; Reprint edition (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375712356
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375712357
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A combination of intellectual fireworks and magnetic readability.”
“An altogether magical performance . . . This is a novel for every taste: a heartbreaking Victorian love story, a take-no-prisoners comedy of contemporary academic life, and an unputdownable supernatural mystery. You turn the last page feeling stunned and elated, happy to have had the chance to read it.”
“This cerebral extravaganza of a story zigzags with unembarrassed zest across an imaginative terrain bristling with symbolism and symmetries, shimmering with myth and legend, and haunted everywhere by presences of the past . . . Possession is eloquent about the intense pleasures of reading. And, with sumptuous artistry, it provides a feast of them.”

“Gorgeously written . . . Dazzling . . . A tour de force.”

“A masterpiece of wordplay and adventure.”

“[Possession] remains one of the most popular and admired winners of the Booker Prize . . . [It] engages with its period through virtuoso re-creation of that past’s writings in multiple forms . . . The astounding mastery of Possession lies, surely, in the confidence and sweep of its construction of those Victorian voices . . . Few, if any, novels of the time approached the past with such originality and formal daring . . . English literature of the last quarter century would look very different without it.”
—from the Introduction by Philip Hensher

About the Author

A. S. Byatt is famed for her short fiction, collected in Sugar and Other Stories, The Matisse Stories, and The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. Her full-length novels include the Booker Prize-winning Possession and the trilogy sequence The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Possession" is far above and beyond the kind of books usually labelled "romance" -- most of those are just sleazy fantasy fodder.

Instead, A.S. Byatt's magnum opus is a tantalizing ode to both art and romantic love, without being too obvious about either one -- it's lushly written, with exquisite characters, great poetry and interweavings of legend and myth. In fact, it's almost the opposite of typical romance, almost chastely erotic, mysterious and dripping over with what simmers under Victorian repression.

A young scholar, Roland, stumbles accidently on an old letter from acclaimed poet Randolph Ash. He soon has reason to believe that the letter was to Christabel La Monte, a lesser-known "fairy" poet -- except Ash was happily married, and La Monte was single all her life. Roland and the chilly fellow scholar Maud investigate caches of hidden letters, poems, and diaries by the lovers, wife, friends and relatives.

In the past, the cordial letters of Christabel and Randolph blossomed into love and passion. They vanished for a short, blissful time together. But what happened to Christabel and Randolph's love, and why did Christabel leave England, while her lesbian companion Blanche committed suicide? And how do these events somehow involve Roland and Maude's own growing attachment?

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and in "Possession" it's a valuable historical tool. When words are hidden or read, it can change perceptions, attitudes and even lives. Byatt's own words are wonderfully lush, dreamy and vivid -- given the rather formal language and writing, it almost seems like a nineteenth-century novel, as if Byatt got so swept up in the characters that she started writing like them.
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