Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea

(1865 words)

Jean Rhys might have started writing what became Wide Sargasso Sea shortly after her return from Dominica in 1936, the one return visit she made to the island of her birth after leaving it as a teenager in 1907. Some of this writing was destroyed by Rhys, but other parts of it may have survived and gradually been added to under the vague title of “Creole,” a token of her desire eventually to write about her memories of the West Indies. According to a letter Rhys sent to Francis Wyndham in 1958, the previous year it had “clicked in her head” that this material could in fact be turned into a novel about “the first Mrs Rochester,” the shadowy West Indian character in Charlotte Brontë's novel, Jane Eyre (1847). …

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Hulme, Peter. "Wide Sargasso Sea". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 January 2001
[, accessed 28 September 2016.]