Possession by A. S. Byatt (born 1936 in Sheffield, England) won the 1990 Booker Prize. It is widely considered one of the best novels of the post World War Two era and had long been on my TBR list. It was made into a movie I hope to see one day. About ten years ago, before the start of The Reading
Life, I read and greatly enjoyed her novel, The Biographer's Tale.
Possession sort of centers on two contemporary academics researching the previously unknown romance between two created by Byatt Victorian era poets. They have discovered a treasure trove of letters, journals and diaries from both of the poets. Researching and making the details of this romance known in the academic world will make their reputations and guarantee them professional success.
About half of the novel is taken up with the imaginary journals and the letters between the two poets. We see the development of their relationship through the letters. We see the struggles of the contemporary academics to come to terms with the material and wrestle with the ethics revealing the vast trove of material.
Possession is a very biting satire of the squabbles of academics. The characters are all very well developed. Byatt even included extensive poems.
I am very glad I finally read Possession. I hope to read two more of her novels soon, The Children's Book and The Virgin in the Garden.