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Jean Rhys
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Archive Authors 2021 > 2018 August Author: Jean Rhys

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message 1: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8725 comments Mod
The suggested book by Jean Rhys is Wide Sargasso Sea. This novel is about Mr. Rochester's (from Jane Eyre) first wife.


message 2: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5367 comments Mod
Wide Sargasso Sea is a 1966 novel by Dominica-born British author Jean Rhys. The author lived in obscurity after her previous work, Good Morning, Midnight, was published in 1939. She had published other novels between these works, but Wide Sargasso Sea caused a revival of interest in Rhys and her work and was her most commercially successful novel. It is a feminist and anti-colonial response to Charlotte Brontë's novel Jane Eyre (1847), describing the background to Mr Rochester's marriage from the point-of-view of his mad wife Antoinette Cosway, a Creole heiress. Antoinette Cosway is Rhys' version of Brontë's devilish "madwoman in the attic". Antoinette's story is told from the time of her youth in Jamaica, to her unhappy marriage to a certain unnamed English gentleman, who renames her Bertha, declares her mad, and then takes her to England. Antoinette is caught in an oppressive patriarchal society in which she neither fully belongs to the Europe nor Jamaica. Wide Sargasso Sea explores the power relationships between men and women and develops postcolonial themes, such as racism, displacement and assimilation.


message 3: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8725 comments Mod
This book is beautifully written. The author is good at creating the oppressive atmosphere on the island. It is also very sad, but well worth reading despite that sadness.


message 4: by Anetq (new)

Anetq Hello all! Unfortunately it seems Wide Sargasso Sea is not available anywhere as an e-book - has anyone come across it?


message 5: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8725 comments Mod
I have ibooks on my ipad and it is available there for 3.99. (In Canada)


message 6: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 1073 comments I read this book a couple years ago and loved it. It gave me a different perspective of Rochester and the "madwoman in the attic."


message 7: by Anetq (new)

Anetq Rosemarie wrote: "I have ibooks on my ipad and it is available there for 3.99. (In Canada)"
Thanks, good thinking - I wouldn't have thought to look there (I prefer reading on my Kindle or paper) - unfortunately a quick look reveals the Danish Store to contain only 20 authors with last name R (all popular fiction, mostly crime), so no luck :)


message 8: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 825 comments Anetq wrote: "Hello all! Unfortunately it seems Wide Sargasso Sea is not available anywhere as an e-book - has anyone come across it?"

I couldn’t find a Kindle version either.


message 9: by Anetq (new)

Anetq Trisha wrote: "Anetq wrote: "Hello all! Unfortunately it seems Wide Sargasso Sea is not available anywhere as an e-book - has anyone come across it?"

I couldn’t find a Kindle version either."


No they seem to have only books about the book and authorship, oddly!


message 10: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8725 comments Mod
The topic is the author Jean Rhys, so please feel free to read any books by this author if you can't get Wide Sargasso Sea. That is her most famous book and it is very odd that it is hard to find as an ebook.
I was fortunate enough to read a library copy when I read it last year, so I didn't have to buy it.


message 11: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8725 comments Mod
I hope you can find at least one of her books, Anetq.


message 12: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8725 comments Mod
I see that the paperback version of the book is available through Amazon, but not on Kindle.


message 13: by Anetq (last edited Aug 03, 2018 04:05AM) (new)

Anetq I've ordered some through my library - we'll see what turns up :)

I have made a thread for discussing her other works here:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 14: by Trisha (last edited Aug 04, 2018 05:00AM) (new)

Trisha | 825 comments I got a (paperback) copy today, so will join the discussion some time soon. I’ve heard this book mentioned so often that I just have to read it at last.


message 15: by Lesle, Appalachain Bibliophile (new)

Lesle | 5367 comments Mod
Anteq actually has a thread open for other works of Rhys here is a link:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

There is a small list of her works there as well.


message 16: by Anetq (last edited Aug 15, 2018 02:30PM) (new)

Anetq I got a book! - is anybody else planning on reading it?


message 17: by Trisha (new)

Trisha | 825 comments I finished reading it. I quite enjoyed it, & agree that it gave a good description of life on the island. I didn’t particularly like the version of (unnamed) Mr Rochester - if I hadn’t already known the connection to Jane Eyre, I don’t think I would have recognised him from this.
What do others think of authors “borrowing” characters in this way? It makes me uncomfortable, I feel that an author should be able to create their own characters.


message 18: by Rosemarie, Northern Roaming Scholar (new)

Rosemarie | 8725 comments Mod
I feel that way too sometimes, Trisha.
In this case, Rhys didn't really exploit the character and gave an in depth picture of her life on the island, with beautiful descriptions.
The novel would have been even better without the connection to Jane Eyre.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Jane Eyre (other topics)
Wide Sargasso Sea (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Jean Rhys (other topics)