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Wide Sargasso Sea

by Jean Rhys, Andrea Ashworth

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics Series

Wide Sargasso Sea Synopsis

One of the BBC's '100 Novels That Shaped Our World' 'Rhys took one of the works of genius of the 19th Century and turned it inside-out to create one of the works of genius of the 20th Century' Michele Roberts Jean Rhys's masterpiece tells the story of Jane Eyre's 'madwoman in the attic', Bertha Rochester. 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's brief, beautiful masterpiece. Edited with an introduction and notes by Angela Smith

Wide Sargasso Sea Press Reviews

Wide Sargasso Sea is not just a great novel, it is many brilliant books in one * Independent * Beautiful and subversive [...] the novel didn't just take inspiration from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, it illuminated and confronted it, challenged the narrative. -- Danielle McLaughlin * Paris Review * Rhys's iconic prequel to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is rich in motifs and devices both modernist and postmodernist -- Hephzibah Anderson Rhys took one of the works of genius of the 19th Century and turned it inside-out to create one of the works of genius of the 20th Century -- Michele Roberts

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141185422
Publication date: 3rd August 2000
Author: Jean Rhys, Andrea Ashworth
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 176 pages
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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