HAPPY BIRTHDAY – Jean Rhys, born 24 August 1890
“A room is, after all, a place where you hide from the wolves. That’s all any room is.”
Jean Rhys’s most famous novel is Wide Sargasso Sea which was published in 1966 and is a ‘prequel’ to Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, telling of the mad woman who becomes the first Mrs Rochester.
Jean Rhys was a Creole, with Scottish and Welsh ancestry. I find Wide Sargasso Sea a disturbing book because I’ve been in love with Mr Rochester since first reading Jane Eyre and I am not comfortable with the more unpleasant side of him which Rhys portrays. However, she certainly makes you think about that poor creature who haunts the upper floor of Thornfield Hall.
Jean Rhys died on 14 May 1979, at the age of 88.
Rhys’s London home in Chelsea is now marked with a blue plaque. I must admit I have not read any of her other works. Any recommendations?
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