Possession: A Romance Short Essay - Answer Key

A.S. Byatt
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1. What is Roland researching at the library?

Roland is researching the meaning of Ash's character Persepine in a poem, and he finds a description equating the mythological Persepine to grain.

2. What does Ash ask for, in his letters to the unknown woman?

Ash asks to continue his conversation with the woman, in private.

3. What does Roland like about the library?

Roland seems drawn to the history of the library, and the idea of the important writers and thinkers who have gathered there.

4. What is Roland's initial reaction to the letters?

Roland is shocked by the letters and then he is excited. His first reaction is to try to figure out when they were written and to whom. As a researcher, he wants to ferret out the history and context of the letters.

5. Describe the relationship between Blackadder and Cropper.

Blackadder and Cropper are both Ash researchers. Although Cropper is a trustee of the trust that funds Blackadder's research, Blackadder is suspicious of Cropper, who he thinks has designs on the Ash manuscripts that are at the British Library.

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