Jean Rhys

Jean Rhys (1890-1979), a white Creole, left the West Indies for Great Britain and also lived for some time in continental Europe. She published four modernist novels in the 1920s and 30s, but the book that really made her famous was Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), a rewriting of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in which Rhys attempts to correct the Eurocentric bias of the English author. The story has Mr Rochester’s first wife, Bertha Mason, as main character. This mad Caribbean white Creole, locked in the attic at Thornfield, moves centre stage in Rhys’s novel and offers her vision of why her marriage with Rochester went wrong. Stylistically, the novel advances some postmodern concerns like the rewriting of canonical texts, multiperspectivism and fragmentation.


Angier, Carole. 1985. Jean Rhys. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

—. 1990. Jean Rhys. London: AndrÉ Deutsch.

Carr, Helen. 1996. Jean Rhys. Plymouth: Northcoat House.

Davidson, Arnold E. 1985. Jean Rhys. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.

Davies, Todd F. and Kenneth Womack. 1999. "Reclaiming the Particular: The Ethics of Self and Sexuality in Wide Sargasso Sea." Jean Rhys Review, 11. 1 (Autumn): 63-78.

Fernandez Vázquez, JosÉ Santiago. 1998. "La construcción del sujeto en la narrativa de Jean Rhys: After Leaving Mr. Mackenzie, Voyage in the Dark and Wide Sargasso Sea". In Estudios Ingleses de la Universidad Complutense, 6: 177-193.

Friedman, Ellen. 1989. "Breaking the Master Narrative: Jean Rhyss Wide Sargasso Sea." Breaking the Sequence: Women’s Experimental Fiction. Ellen Friedman and Miriam Fuchs, eds. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

García Rayego, Rosa. 1999. Jean Rhys: vulnerabilidad y dependencia. Madrid: Ediciones del Orto.

Mardorossian, Carine. 1999a. "Shutting Up the Subaltern: Silences, Stereotypes, and Double-Entendre in Jean Rhyss Wide Sargasso Sea." Callaloo: A Journal of African-American and African Arts and Letters, 22. 4: 1071-90.

—. 1999b. "Double (De)colonization and the Feminist Criticism of Wide Sargasso Sea". In College Literature, (Spring) 26 (2): 79-95.

Maurel, Sylvie. 1998. Jean Rhys. London: Macmillan.

—. 2002 "Across the ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’: Jean Rhys’s Revision of Charlotte Brontë’s Eurocentric Gothic". Commonwealth Essays and Studies, 24:2, 107-118.

Mezei, Kathy. 1994. "Jean Rhyss Wide Sargasso Sea: The Madwoman in the Attic (Out of Parenthesis into Story)." HistoricitÉ et metafiction dans le roman contemporaine des Iles Britanniques. Max Duperray, ed. Aix-en-Provence: UniversitÉ de Provence. 57-71.

Nixon, N. 1994 Fall "Wide Sargasso Sea and Jean Rhys’s Interrogation of the ‘nature wholly alien’ in Jane Eyre". Essays in Literature, 21:2, 267–284.

Savory, Elaine. 2000 (1998). Jean Rhys. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cambridge Studies in African and Caribbean Literature.

Su, John J. "‘Once I would have gone back ... but not any longer’: Nostalgia and Narrative Ethics in Wide Sargasso Sea." Critique 44, 2 (2003): 157- 174.

Thomas, S. 1999. The Worlding of Jean Rhys. Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press.