Patricia Lockwood on A. S. Byatt's Possession
Patricia Lockwood, shortlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize for her debut No One Is Talking About This, revisits her favourite Booker Prize winner
Constantly fusing historical fact with fiction, Dan Jacobson places three extraordinary characters at the centre of an astonishing comic drama.
Full of wit, the action moves from one end to the other of pre-First World War Europe. She was a Belgian princess, daughter of King Leopold II. He was a second lieutenant: a man of dubious origin and extravagant ambition. Cue assignations, adultery, flight, the squandering of a fortune, a duel, imprisonment, bankruptcy, morphine and madness (or alleged madness). Enter a real-life heroine - canteen-worker Maria Stöger - who is no less ready than the princess and her soldier to risk all for love.
About the AuthorAll for Love was the penultimate book in a distinguished career that saw the South African-born Dan Jacobson produce some 26 books of varied genres and styles, but all written with rigorous attention to detail.