Wide Sargasso Sea

Front Cover
Norton, 1992 - British - 189 pages
Jean Rhys's reputation was made upon publication of this passionate and heartbreaking novel, in which she brings into the light one of citsion's most mysterious characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Bronte's "Jane Eyre". A sensual and protected young woman, the narrator grows up in the lush, natural world of the Caribbean. She is sold into marriage to the cold-hearted and prideful Rochester, who succumbs to his need for money and his lust. Yet he will make her pay for her ancestors' sins of slaveholding, excessive drinking and nihilistic despair by enslaving her as a prisoner in his bleak British home.

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User Review  - EadieB - LibraryThing

Book Description She was Antoinette Cosway, a beautiful heiress grown up amid the violence and intrigue of a lush Caribbean island, and haunted by memories of a terror-ridden past. He was Rochester, a ... Read full review

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User Review  - CurrerBell - LibraryThing

I'd actually rate Wide Sargasso Sea as probably 4½**** but I'm rating this particular edition (Norton Critical) a bit lower because its supplementary materials, although interesting and useful, are written a bit too much in "acadamese." Read full review

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About the author (1992)

Jean Rhys, 1890 - 1979 Writer Jean Rhys was born in Roseau, Dominica, West Indies. Her father was a Welsh doctor and her mother was a Dominican Creole. Her heritage deeply influenced her life as well as her writing. At seventeen, her father sent her to England to attend the Perse School, Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Unfortunately, she was forced to abandon her studies when her father died. Rhys worked as a chorus girl and ghostwrote a book on furniture. During World War I, she volunteered in a soldier canteen and, in 1918, worked in a pension office. In 1919, she went to Holland and married the French-Dutch journalist and songwriter Jean Langlet. They had two children, a daughter and a son who died as an infant. She began writing under the patronage of Ford Madox Ford. Her husband was sentenced to prison for illegal financial transactions. Her affair ended badly with Ford, and her marriage ended in divorce. In 1934, she married Leslie Tilden Smith who died in 1945. Two years later, she married Max Hamer who died in 1966. Rhys lived many years in the West Country, most often in great poverty. In 1927, Rhys' first collection of stories, "The Left Bank and Other Stories," was published. Her first novel, "Quartet" (1928), is considered to be an account of her affair with Ford Madox Ford told through Marya, a young English woman. In "Voyage in the Dark" (1934), the character is a young chorus girl involved with an older lover. She has also written "Good Morning, Midnight" (1939) and "Sleep It Off Lady" (1976) and the internationally acclaimed "Wide Sargasso Sea" (1960). Rhys was made a CBE in 1978 and received the W.H. Smith Award, the Royal Society of Literature Award and an Arts Council Bursart. Rhys died on May 14, 1979 in Exeter. In the same year, her unfinished autobiography "Smile Please" appeared.

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