Inspired by Charlotte Bronte's 'Jane Eyre', WIDE SARGASSO SEA is set in 1830's Jamaica. Born into an oppressive, colonialist society, 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. This classic study of betrayal is Jean Rhys' brief, beautiful masterpiece.
Jean Rhys was born in Dominica in 1894. Coming to England aged 16, she drifted into various jobs before starting to write in Paris in the late 1920's. Her novels, often portraying women as underdogs out to exploit their sexualities, were ahead of their time and only modestly successful. From 1939 she lived reclusively, and was largely forgotten when she made a sensational comeback with WIDE SARGASSO SEA in 1966. She died in 1979.