Wide Sargasso Sea (Essential Penguin)

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9780140274219: Wide Sargasso Sea (Essential Penguin)

Set against the lush backdrop of 1830s Jamaica, Jean Rhys's powerful, haunting story was inspired by the first Mrs Rochester, in Charlotte Bronte's JANE EYRE.

Born into an oppressive, colonialist society, Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway meets a young Englishman who is drawn to her innocent sensuality and beauty. But soon after their marriage, rumours of madness in her family poison his mind against her. He forces Antoinette to conform to his rigid Victorian ideals, unaware that he is pushing her towards madness, and towards a terrible conclusion amongst the leaping flames at Thornfield Hall . . .

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Review:

The novel is a triumph of atmosphere of what one is tempted to call Caribbean Gothic atmosphere It has an almost hallucinatory quality. "

About the Author:

Jean Rhys was born in Domenica in 1890 but came to London when she was sixteen. She began to write after the first of her three marriages broke up, but without any particular success, perhaps because her writing was decades ahead of its time. Nearlytwenty years after her books had gone out of print, she made a sensational re-appearance in 1966 with WIDE SARGASSO SEA, which won the Royal Society of Literature Award and the WH Smith award. She died in 1979.

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