Fanfiction can be defined as fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.
While some might think that this is a new concept with the age of the internet and social media, fanfiction is a much older genre than some might presume.
Wide Sargasso Sea, written in 1966 by Jean Rhys, is a prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s literary masterpiece, Jane Eyre.
The novel is the story of Antoinette Cosway, a heiress who is creole by birth and living on a plantation whose glory days are long gone. When she grows up, she is married off an an Englishman, Edward Rochester who removes her from her island home and takes her to his gloomy isolated, Yorkshire estate to live. This is a story about madness, lust, greed and how women cope when they have no power to control their own lives.
The most recent film adaptation of this book was made in 2006 with Rebecca Hall as Antoinette and Rafe Spall as Edward.
What I enjoy about both the book and movie is that we are introduced to a character whose story we only know one side of. In Jane Eyre, Bertha Rochester is Edward’s secret wife, suffering from madness. Her only companion is a paid servant. In Wide Sargasso Sea, we meet Antoinette and we see the story from her point of view. We see the injustice not just being a woman in that era, but being a woman of mixed race in that era.
I recommend both.
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