Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 528 pages, 7.75 × 5 × 1.25 in
Published: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Random House UK
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0099563134
ISBN - 13: 9780099563136
Read from the Book
Chapter One These things are there. The garden and the treeThe serpent at its root, the fruit of goldThe woman in the shadow of the boughsThe running water and the grassy space.They are and were there. At the old world''s rim,In the Hesperidean grove, the fruitGlowed golden on eternal boughs, and thereThe dragon Ladon crisped his jewelled crestScraped a gold claw and sharped a silver toothAnd dozed and waited through eternityUntil the tricksy hero HeraklesCame to his dispossession and the theft.--Randolph Henry Ash, from The Garden of Proserpina, 1861The book was thick and black and covered with dust. Its boards were bowed and creaking; it had been maltreated in its own time. Its spine was missing, or rather protruded from amongst the leaves like a bulky marker. It was bandaged about and about with dirty white tape, tied in a neat bow. The librarian handed it to Roland Michell, who was sitting waiting for it in the Reading Room of the London Library. It had been exhumed from Locked Safe no. 5 where it usually stood between Pranks of Priapus and The Grecian Way of Love. It was ten in the morning, one day in September 1986. Roland had the small single table he liked best, behind a square pillar, with the clock over the fireplace nevertheless in full view. To his right was a high sunny window, through which you could see the high green leaves of St. James''s Square.The London Library was Roland''s favourite place. It was shabby but civilised, alive with history but inhabited als
From the Publisher
A special celebratory edition to mark the 21st birthday of Vintage books.
Hailed by The New York Times Book Review as "a gifted observer, able to discern the exact details that bring whole worlds into being" and "a storyteller who could keep a sultan on the edge of his throne for a thousand and one nights," A. S. Byatt writes some of the most engaging and skillful novels of our time. Time magazine calls her "a novelist of dazzling inventiveness."
Possession, for which Byatt won England''s prestigious Booker Prize, was praised by critics on both sides of the Atlantic when it was first published in 1990. "On academic rivalry and obsession, Byatt is delicious. On the nature of possession--the lover by the beloved, the biographer by his subject--she is profound," said The Sunday Times (London). The New Yorker dubbed it "more fun to read than The Name of the Rose . . . Its prankish verve [and] monstrous richness of detail [make for] a one-woman variety show of literary styles and types." The novel traces a pair of young academics--Roland Michell and Maud Bailey--as they uncover a clandestine love affair between two long-dead Victorian poets. Interwoven in a mesmerizing pastiche are love letters and fairytales, extracts from biographies and scholarly accounts, creating a sensuous and utterly delightful novel of ideas and passions.
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.
"Byatt is the most formidably equipped of contemporary novelists. . . . The great merit of [her] writing . . . is that it continually engages the reader''s mind."---The Daily Telegraph
"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."---The Sunday Times (London)