"Possession" is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and a triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire -- from spiritualist seances to the ...Read More"Possession" is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and a triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire -- from spiritualist seances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany -- what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas.Read Less
The book is everything the critics said. First class story in two time zones, deep and subtle characterization, enormously convincing background of Victorian poetry and social mores - all fully if fictitiously represented, precise use of vocabulary, very visual three-dimensional settings. All in all a worthy winner of the Booker prize. My copy was a splendid first American edition, with a sound dust jacket incorporating the magnificent Merlin and Vivien of Burne-Jones.
Apr 1, 2007
A book to 'Possess' you.
I had tried to read Possession many years ago. I stopped reading after the first 4 chapters, as i knew i wasn't in the right frame of mind to truly appreciate what i knew to be a fine piece of literature . Six years later, tired of seeing it sitting in my bookcase waiting to be read, i realised that I was ready to let myself be absorbed. Possession is one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read! A.S. Byatt's use of language is inspiring and creates/paints vivid images in your mind. Making it easy to think, feel and see everything that our characters do. Byatt's ability to blend the two eras - Victorian and modern - so effortlessly gives the book it's momentum. This is a long book and could be alittle off putting for some. However, it is definately worth your use of freetime. The poetry and love letters within the book genuinely stole my heart and left me dejected when I realised that Ash and LaMotte were fictitious poets and I would not be able to further my reading. The characters will live on with you long after you have put down the book. I will definately recommend this to fellow bookworms and literary fiends!
Publishers Weekly, 1991-09-06 Two contemporary scholars, each studying one of two Victorian poets, reconstruct their subjects' secret extramarital affair through poems, journal entries, letters and modern scholarly analysis of the period. PW called this Booker Prize winner ``an ambitious and wholly satisfying work, a nearly perfect novel.'' (Oct.)
Publishers Weekly, 1990-08-24 The English author of Still Life fuses an ambitious and wholly satisfying work, a nearly perfect novel. Two contemporary scholars, each immersed in the study of one of two Victorian poets, discover evidence of a previously unimagined relationship between their subjects: R. H. Ash and Christabel LaMotte had secretly conducted an extramarital romance. The scholars, ``possessed'' by their dramatic finds, cannot bring themselves to share their materials with the academic community; instead, they covertly explore clues in the poets' writings in order to reconstruct the affair and its enigmatic aftermath. Byatt persuasively interpolates the lovers' correspondence and ``their'' poems; the journal entries and letters of other interested parties; and modern-day scholarly analysis of the period. One of the poets is posthumously dubbed ``the great ventriloquist''; because of Byatt's success in projecting diverse and distinct voices, it is tempting to apply the label to her as well. Merely to do so, however, would ignore even greater skills: her superb and perpetually surprising plotting; her fluid transposition of literary motifs to an infinite number of keys; her amusing and mercifully indirect criticism of current literary theories; and her subtle questioning of the ways readers and writers shape, and are shaped by, literature. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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