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The Virgin in the Garden is the first vel to feature Frederica Potter, and the beginning of a triumphant quartet of vels. Set in Yorkshire in 1952 as the inhabitants of the area set about celebrating the accession of a new Queen, this is the tale of a brilliant and eccentric family fatefully divided. The Virgin in the Garden is a wonderfully entertaining vel, in which enlightenment and sexuality, Elizabethan drama and comedy intersect richly and unpredictably.
A.S. Byatt is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story-writer and critic. Her books include Possession (winner of the Booker Prize in 1990), and the quartet of The Virgin in the Garden, Still Life, Babel Tower and A Whistling Woman. Educated at York and Newnham College, Cambridge, she taught at the Central School of Art and Design, and was Senior Lecturer in English at University College, London, before becoming a full-time writer in 1983. She was appointed CBE in 1990 and DBE in 1999.