The Skull Beneath The Skin is a 1982 detective novel by P. D. James, featuring her female private detective Cordelia Gray. The novel is set in a reconstructed Victorian castle on the fictional Courcy Island on the Dorset coast and centers around actress Clarissa Lisle who is to play John Webster's drama The Duchess of Malfi in the castle's restored theatre. It takes its title from T. S. Eliot's poem Whispers of Immortality, where Webster is famously said to be "much possessed by death" and to see "the skull beneath the skin".
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