Study Guide

Possession Characters

By A.S. Byatt

Roland Mitchell

When you're a "meek" (8.70), kind of small, twenty-nine-year-old dude and your long-term...

Maud Bailey

When a smarmy ex-boyfriend describes you as the kind of woman who "thicks men's blood with cold"...

Randolph Henry Ash

Handsome, charming, and more than a little susceptible to smart women who like good poetry,...

Christabel LaMotte

Who was Christabel LaMotte, deep down? What do we really know about her?Even though Possession's...

Mortimer Cropper

If you're a Harry Potter fan, the symbolic significance of Mortimer Cropper's name should be...

Leonora Stern

Brash, bold, and talkative, Leonora Stern sweeps into Possession like a mythical mother goddess....

James Blackadder

James Blackadder was Roland Mitchell's thesis supervisor, and now he's Roland's employer....

Beatrice Nest

It's hard not to sympathize with Beatrice Nest, the twentieth-century Ellen Ash scholar who...

Ellen Ash

Who was Ellen Ash, deep down?In some ways, Randolph Henry Ash's wife is just as mysterious to us...

Blanche Glover

Glover or leave her, Blanche is another of Possession's enigmatic characters. The novel's...

Val

Roland's girlfriend Val is the only one of Possession's important characters who isn't given a...

Euan MacIntyre

You've gotta hand it to Euan MacIntyre: he may be one of Possession's very minor characters, but...

Fergus Wolff

One of the funniest things about Possession is that A. S. Byatt isn't afraid to use totally...

Sir George and Lady Joan Bailey

Sir George and Lady Joan Bailey are distant relations of Maud Bailey and even more distant...

Maia Thomasine Bailey

In Possession's early chapters, we're led to believe that Maia Thomasine Bailey was Christabel...

Sabine de Kercoz

Sabine de Kercoz was one of Christabel LaMotte's distant cousins. The two women were related...

Sophie Bailey and Sir George Bailey, Sr.

Sophie Bailey (née Sophia LaMotte) was Christabel LaMotte's sister, and Sir George Bailey,...

F. R. Leavis

F. R. Leavis was a real-world scholar and literary critic, but A. S. Byatt inserts a...

Ariane Le Minier

Ariane Le Minier enters Possession in Chapter 18, by way of a letter that she has sent to Leonora...

Isidore LaMotte

If you can't think of Isidore LaMotte without picturing the finger-chopping Isildur from J.R.R....

Priscilla Penn Cropper

Priscilla Penn Cropper was Mortimer Cropper's great-grandmother. She was a contemporary of...

Hella Lees

Along with Priscilla Penn Cropper and Christabel LaMotte, Hella Lees is one of the...

Gode

Gode is another one of Possession's characters that comes to us from a distance. We only ever...

Veronica Honiton

We meet Veronica Honiton just briefly in Possession. She isn't a full-fledged character,...

Toby Byng

We know what you're thinking, Shmoopers: any relation to Chandler Bing?Sadly, no. But that's all...

Bertha

Bertha (whose surname we never learn) is one of the many minor characters that we only ever meet...

Minor Characters

Ellen Ash's journals introduce us briefly to her sister Patience, along with a clan of nieces and...