Wide Sargasso Sea Hardcover – Large Print, 1 Feb 1994
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|Hardcover, Large Print, 1 Feb 1994||
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The novel is a triumph of atmosphere of what one is tempted to call Caribbean Gothic atmosphere It has an almost hallucinatory quality. " --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Her grand attempt to tell what she felt was the story of Jane Eyre's 'madwoman in the attic', Bertha Rochester, Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea is edited with an introduction and notes by Angela Smith in Penguin Classics. 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. Jean Rhys (1894-1979) was born in Dominica. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before moving to Paris, where she began writing and was 'discovered' by Ford Madox Ford. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful. From 1939 (when Good Morning, Midnight was written) onwards she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with her account of Jane Eyre's Bertha Rochester, Wide Sargasso Sea, in 1966. If you enjoyed Wide Sargasso Sea, you might like Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, also available in Penguin Classics. '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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
The story is set in wild, magical Jamaican scenery, and the beauty of the country is beautifully depicted as is the trouble and confusion on West Indian sugar estates in the aftermath of emancipation. Not only is most of the black population as poor as ever, white people are stuck in poverty too. Rhys shows that the movement from colonialism to a racial-political independence, but rather from one form of slavery to another. Some people would argue that you have to have read Jane Eyre first to get this and others that you do not, in my opinion just for the ending of Wide Sargasso Sea to have even more meaning and depth Jane Eyre is essential reading.
I had to read this for my book club and I was really reluctant to read a 'prequel' to my beloved "Jane Eyre", but this was beautifully written and so different in tone and setting, with a completely different energy that it was immensely enjoyable on its own merits. I did feel it added to my understanding of Mr Rochester and my enjoyment of the original book.
Also, it's super short, so great for these bookclub months when everyone is really busy. No harm in being pragmatic!
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