Possession – A. S. Byatt, 2 Amazing Stories

Possession is the third novel by A. S. Byatt that I have read after The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye and The Matisse Stories, and it certainly won’t be the last. After this long novel, I have to make it clear that Byatt is an incredible author. I plan to read everything the author writes from now on. I recommend it to you too.


Possession has two parallel stories; one is set in Victorian times and the other in the recent past. These two stories are different but tightly connected with each other. Both will bind you to themselves, and you will not want to leave either of them. Especially towards the end of Possession, you will find yourself readingPossession faster in order to learn what happened. While discovering that literary people are actually detectives, you will also find a love that has been hidden from everyone in the past, and you will witness the sprout of another love with the help of this love.

Possession - A. S. Byatt

Of course, in the meantime, you will read Byatt’s poems and letters, and you will feel lucky to have read the book of such a genius. I am sure you will enjoy dreaming of England. The author’s descriptions are so exquisite that you can feel like watching a film while reading each of them. I think anyone who loves literature will love Possession. A. S. Byatt won the following awards: Man Booker Prize (1990), Irish Times International Fiction Prize (1990), Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in South Asia and Europe (1991). She surely deserves a lot more of these awards and many readers.Possession is a must-read, enjoy!

Possession - A. S. Byatt

Possession – A. S. Byatt

Possession: “Literary critics make natural detectives,” says Maud Bailey, heroine of a mystery where the clues lurk in university libraries, old letters, and dusty journals. Together with Roland Michell, a fellow academic and accidental sleuth, Maud discovers a love affair between the two Victorian writers the pair has dedicated their lives to studying: Randolph Ash, a literary great long assumed to be a devoted and faithful husband, and Christabel La Motte, a lesser-known “fairy poetess” and chaste spinster.

At first, Roland and Maud’s discovery threatens only to alter the direction of their research, but as they unearth the truth about the long-forgotten romance, their involvement becomes increasingly urgent and personal. Desperately concealing their purpose from competing researchers, they embark on a journey that pulls each of them from solitude and loneliness, challenges the most basic assumptions they hold about themselves, and uncovers their unique entitlement to the secret of Ash and La Motte’s passion.

A. S. Byatt

A.S. Byatt, in full Dame Antonia Susan Byatt, née Antonia Susan Drabble, (born August 24, 1936, Sheffield, England), English scholar, literary critic, and novelist known for her erudite works whose characters are often academics or artists commenting on the intellectual process.

Byatt is the daughter of a judge and the sister of novelist Margaret Drabble. She was educated at the University of Cambridge, Bryn Mawr College, and the University of Oxford and then taught at University College, London, from 1972 to 1983, when she left to write full-time. Among her critical works are Degrees of Freedom (1965), the first full-length study of the British writer Iris Murdoch.

Despite the publication of two novels, The Shadow of a Sun (1964) and The Game (1967), Byatt continued to be considered mainly a scholar and a critic until the publication of her highly acclaimed The Virgin in the Garden (1978). The novel is a complex story set in 1953, at the time of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was written as the first of a tetralogy that chronicles the lives of three members of one family from the coronation to 1980. The second volume of the series, Still Life (1985), concentrates on the art of painting, and it was followed by Babel Tower (1995) and A Whistling Woman (2002).

Possession - A. S. Byatt

During this time, Byatt wrote Possession (1990; film 2002), which is part mystery and part romance; in it Byatt developed two related stories, one set in the 19th century and one in the 20th century. Considered a brilliant example of postmodernist fiction, it was a popular success and was awarded the Booker Prize for 1990. The Biographer’s Tale (2000) is an erudite and occasionally esoteric literary mystery, and The Children’s Book (2009), following the family of a beloved children’s author, incorporates historical figures into a sweeping turn-of-the-20th-century tale. Ragnarok: The End of the Gods (2011), a retelling of the Norse myth, is set during World War II and centres on a young girl who is evacuated to the countryside.

In addition to her novels, Byatt wrote several collections of short stories, including Sugar, and Other Stories (1987), The Matisse Stories (1993), and Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice (1998); Passions of the Mind (1991), a collection of essays; and Angels & Insects (1991; film 1995), a pair of novellas. Among her nonfiction works is Peacock & Vine (2016), about William Morris and Mariano Fortuny. Byatt was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1999.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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