Readers' Review: "Possession: A Romance" by A.S. Byatt

Cover image courtesy Random House, Inc. -

Cover image courtesy Random House, Inc.

Readers' Review: "Possession: A Romance" by A.S. Byatt

Join Diane and her guests for our July Readers’ Review as they discuss a story of wit and romance. A pair of scholars reconstruct the secret affair of two Victorian poets through their poems and letters. One review described "Possession" by A.S. Byatt as “a nearly perfect novel."

A.S. Byatt’s novel “Possession: A Romance” caused a literary sensation when it was published in 1990. The mystery and love story tells the tale of two young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. It begins with the discovery of a letter from the well-known -- and married -- poet Randolph Henry Ash to an unknown woman. The search for her identity triggers a chase from London to Brittany, France. Along the way, the modern scholars uncover letters, poems and journals of Ash and his lover, Christabel Lamotte. Soon, others become interested in their pursuit and the story ends with a shocking graveyard discovery. Join Diane and her guests for our Readers’ Review of “Possession."


Rosemary Jann

professor of English at George Mason University.

Andrew Stauffer

associate professor of English at the University of Virginia and director of NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship).

Tania James

author of "Aerogrammes and Other Stories" and "Atlas of Unknowns."

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Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "Possession" by A.S. Byatt. Copyright © 1991 by A. S. Byatt. Excerpted by permission of Vintage, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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