The Pequod Review:
A modern post-doc scholar seems destined for life of academic mediocrity until he discovers letters showing that a famous Victorian poet had a secret love affair. From this simple starting point, A.S. Byatt builds Possession into a superb novel of extraordinary breadth. It is a literary mystery, a love story (both modern and Victorian), and an academic satire. It also explores the changing roles of women, the nature of historical research, the pettiness of scholarly turf wars, and the beauty of literature and poetry. And do not skip the love letters — they are one of the novel's great strengths and reveal depths of character rarely seen in fiction.