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Wide Sargasso Sea

by Jean Rhys, Andrea Ashworth

Part of the Penguin Clothbound Classics Series

Modern and Contemporary Fiction

LoveReading View on Wide Sargasso Sea

Inspired by Charlotte Bronte, Jean Rhys turns one of her stories on its head and creates an absolute masterpiece in her sublimely crisp reimaging of Jane Eyre. Through making Bertha, the "madwoman in the attic", her narrator, Rhys makes and powerful statement about agency, and who gets to have their story told. 

 

Born into the oppressive, colonialist society of 1930s Jamaica, white Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent beauty and sensuality. After their marriage, however, disturbing rumours begin to circulate which poison her husband against her. Caught between his demands and her own precarious sense of belonging, Antoinette is inexorably driven towards madness, and her husband into the arms of another novel's heroine. This classic study of betrayal, a seminal work of postcolonial literature, is Jean Rhys' brief, beautiful masterpiece.

Read our 'Book-aneers of the Caribbean' listicle to find more unforgettable books by Caribbean writers.

Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Joanne Owen

Wide Sargasso Sea Synopsis

Born into the oppressive, colonialist society of 1930s Jamaica, white Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent beauty and sensuality. After their marriage, however, disturbing rumours begin to circulate which poison her husband against her. Caught between his demands and her own precarious sense of belonging, Antoinette is inexorably driven towards madness, and her husband into the arms of another novel's heroine. 'She took one of the works of genius of the nineteenth century and turned it inside-out to create one of the works of genius of the twentieth century' Michele Roberts, The Times

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241281901
Publication date: 06/10/2016
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241281901
Publication date: 6th October 2016
Author: Jean Rhys, Andrea Ashworth
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 192 pages
Genres: Modern and Contemporary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Jean Rhys, Andrea Ashworth

Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1894. After arriving in England aged sixteen, she became a chorus girl and drifted between different jobs before moving to Paris, where she started to write in the late 1920s. She published a story collection and four novels, after which she disappeared from view and lived reclusively for many years. In 1966 she made a sensational comeback with her masterpiece, Wide Sargasso Sea, written in difficult circumstances over a long period. Rhys died in 1979.

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