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Wide Sargasso Sea (Norton Critical Editions)…

Wide Sargasso Sea (Norton Critical Editions) (edition 1998)

by Jean Rhys, Judith L. Raiskin (Editor)

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5281527,792 (3.6)11
Title:Wide Sargasso Sea (Norton Critical Editions)
Authors:Jean Rhys
Other authors:Judith L. Raiskin (Editor)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (1998), Paperback, 270 pages
Collections:Your library

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Wide Sargasso Sea [Norton Critical Edition] by Jean Rhys

  1. 00
    Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau by Jewell Parker Rhodes (CurrerBell)
  2. 00
    After Mrs Rochester by Polly Teale (srdr)
    srdr: This brilliant drama illuminates the themes that run through Jean Rhys's life, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Jane Eyre.
1960s (204)

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» See also 11 mentions

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The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys; (4*)

I think that Jean Rhys did an excellent job of creating an interesting storyline as well as boggling our minds with the beauty of Colubri. Her images were so strong that I didn't have to try to imagine the characters or settings. I could see, smell & feel them.

This brilliant novel primarily deals with contradictions and ambiguity. Written as a prelude to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, Jean Rhys creates an identity for the otherwise shadowy figure of Bertha Mason, Rochester's mad creole wife, through Antoinette a beautiful lonely Creole woman. Wide Sargasso Sea deals with contradictions and not just with feminist "rag issues" as other reviewers suggest, rather tending to deal with gender reversal. Christophine, the freed black slave from another Caribbean Island, is a strong female character who displays masculine traits standing up to the bullying unnamed Englishman (Rochester) who tries to use oppressive colonialist tactics to control the inhabitants of an exotic Island which cannot be controlled. Both are wild and unruly compared to his staid English persona and as such, something which he cannot relate to. Antoinette is the weak female figure who is finally destroyed by the Enlgishman, driven to madness through a combination of his desire for her and his distaste and hate for everything that she represents. An intriguing tale full of ambiguity Wide Sargasso Sea is a sad tale of dispossession and dislocation.

But please do not attempt to compare The Wide Sargasso Sea to Jane Eyre. To do that is to do yourself & Jean Rhys a great disservice. ( )
  rainpebble | Sep 19, 2016 |
Book Description
She was Antoinette Cosway, a beautiful heiress grown up amid the violence and intrigue of a lush Caribbean island, and haunted by memories of a terror-ridden past. He was Rochester, a handsome, charming young English lord, who married Antoinette in her innocence, taught her to be a woman on a savagely passionate honeymoon, and took her home with him to England. It was there, at Thornfield Hall, that Antoinette learned the terrible truth about her husband - and the nightmare fate prepared for her...

My Review
I enjoyed this novel very much as it gave the reader an in-depth view of the Caribbean culture in the late 1800's while telling us more about Bertha, the woman hidden in the attic from the classic novel, Jane Eyre. It is a very passionate story with a very tragic ending. The prose is beautiful and the themes are racism, sexism, colonialism and human nature. I recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in Charlotte Bronte and/or Caribbean literature. ( )
1 vote EadieB | May 31, 2016 |
I'd actually rate Wide Sargasso Sea as probably 4½**** but I'm rating this particular edition (Norton Critical) a bit lower because its supplementary materials, although interesting and useful, are written a bit too much in "acadamese." ( )
  CurrerBell | Feb 21, 2016 |
This was amazing and changed the way I will think about Jane Eyre forever. Rhys's style is lyrical, the historical era she evokes so fraught and nuanced, so haunting and heartbreaking (that tension between white guilt and systemic cultures of oppression!) ( )
  endlesserror | Nov 25, 2014 |
Excerpt from Linus's Blanket - Rhys is a thought provoking and insightful writer. She puts the truth of people and their situations into her colorful characters and their dialogue, and lets her readers draw their own conclusions. It’s not a happy book, and if you’ve read Jane Eyre you don’t go into it with much hope for Antoinette because you already now the ending, but I enjoyed reading it and the perspective that it provided. It’s also one of those books that will yield more with each reading. Jane Eyre fans and those looking to read plantation era Caribbean fiction should definitely check this one out. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 24, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jean Rhysprimary authorall editionscalculated
Raiskin, Judith LEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393960129, Paperback)

Written over the course of twenty-one years and published in 1966, Wide Sargasso Sea, based on Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, takes place in Jamaica and Dominica in 1839–45.

Textual notes illuminate the novel’s historical background, regional references, and the non-translated Creole and French phrases necessary to fully understand this powerful story. Backgrounds includes a wealth of material on the novel’s long evolution, it connections to Jane Eyre, and Rhys’s biographical impressions of growing up in Dominica. Criticism introduces readers to the critical debates inspired by the novel with a Derek Walcott poem and eleven essays.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:07 -0400)

Beautiful and wealthy Antoinette Cosway's passionate love for an English aristocrat threatens to destroy her idyllic West Indian island existence and her very life; accompanied by notes and criticism.

(summary from another edition)

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