Angels and Insects: Two Novellas

Angels and Insects: Two Novellas

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by A. S. Byatt
     
 

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In these breathtaking novellas, A.S. Byatt returns to the territory she explored in Possession: the landscape of Victorian England, where science and spiritualism are both popular manias, and domestic decorum coexists with brutality and perversion. Angels and Insects is "delicate and confidently ironic.... Byatt perfectly blends laughter and

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Overview

In these breathtaking novellas, A.S. Byatt returns to the territory she explored in Possession: the landscape of Victorian England, where science and spiritualism are both popular manias, and domestic decorum coexists with brutality and perversion. Angels and Insects is "delicate and confidently ironic.... Byatt perfectly blends laughter and sympathy [with] extraordinary sensuality" (San Francisco Examiner).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Byatt revisits the Victorian landscape of Possession in these two fluid and intricate novellas. (Apr.)
Library Journal
This work consists of two novellas set in the mid-19th century. The first, ``Morpho Eugenia,'' is a Gothic fable that explores the multiple themes of earthly paradise and Darwin's theories of breeding and sexuality. There is an implied parallel between insect and human society throughout. The hero, a poor, scholarly entomologist, is taken into a wealthy Victorian family. His life and loves, particularly for the daughter Eugenia and the eponymous species of butterfly, comprise this tale. The second novella, ``The Conjugal Angel,'' is reminiscent of Possession ( LJ 11/1/90), Byatt's 1990 Booker Prize winner for fiction, wherein poetry is woven into the narrative. Here, the poem is Tennyson's ``In Memoriam , '' written to mourn the death of Tennyson's friend Arthur Henry Hallam, who was engaged to the poet's sister Emily--a main character here. This is a philosophical ghost story, bizarre and comic, but since assorted mediums meet real characters, it is difficult to relate to any of them. These novellas will attract attention due to the fame of their author, but they will appeal to a very limited audience. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/92.-- Patricia C. Heaney, Nassau Community Coll. Lib., Garden City, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679751342
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1994
Series:
Vintage International Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
321,167
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.72(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

A.S. Byatt is the author of the novels Possession (winner of the Booker Prize in 1990), The Game, and the sequence The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, and Babel Tower. She has also written two novellas, published together as Angels and Insects, and four collections of shorter works, including The Matisse Stories and The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye. Educated at Cambridge, she was a senior lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. A distinguished critic as well as a novelist, she lives in London.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
London, England; France
Date of Birth:
August 24, 1936
Place of Birth:
Sheffield, England
Education:
B.A., Newnham College, Cambridge, 1957; graduate study at Bryn Mawr College and Somerville College

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