Adulterous liaisons: Jean Rhys, Stella Bowen and feminist reading

by Sue Thomas

© all rights reserved

On the front cover of Drusilla Modjeska’s book, The Orchard(1994), 1 is a framed image of a pear superimposed over the palm in Pierre Dumonstier le Neveu’s drawing of the hand of Artemesia Gentileschi with paintbrush, 1625. The pear and the hand assume symbolic dimensions in the folk tale “The Handless Maiden”, otherwise known as “The Orchard”, the “story at the heart of every incident, every story” the “I” of the book has narrated to readers (O,264). The folk tale is explicated by Clarissa Pinkola Estés who reads it as an allegory of “women’s initiation” into the “underworld of female knowing”. This process entails “the rite of endurance”, “one of the rites of the Great Wild Mother, the Wild Woman archetype. The hand symbolises “self-comfort”, “immediate self-healing”, an ability to tread beyond “the age-old path” of feminine disempowerment. The allusion suggests that Modjeska’s meditations on Estés’s Jungian allegorisation of the tale proffers the reader what Estés refers to as “a taste of the Self, the breath and substance of her own wild God, a wild communion” which promises feminist transformation. In archetypical terms this taste is “a burst of new life, a seed of new selfhood”. 2

In one of the essays in The Orchardtitled “The Adultery Factor”, Modjeska’s theme is “the dance of domination, that play of submission and control that is acted out in the most ordinary of daily manoeuvres between lovers, and which is thrown into exaggerated relief in the drama of adultery” (O,51). In this essay a dichotomy is drawn between the expatriate Australian artist Stella Bowen and the expatriate Dominican writer Jean Rhys with whom Bowen’s long-term partner, expatriate Englishman Ford Madox Ford had an affair. At the time Rhys was married to expatriate Dutchman Jean Lenglet. Rhys’s novel Quartet(1928) is usually read as a roman à clef about the affair, while Bowen writes a few pages about it in her autobiography Drawn from Life(1941). 3 Modjeska edited a new edition of Bowen’s long out of print book to coincide with the publication of her part biography of Bowen,Stravinsky’s Lunch (1999). 4 For her the affair between Rhys and Ford constitutes Bowen’s rite of endurance. Indeed, for Modjeska’s bestselling and multi-award-winning brand of contemporary Australian feminism Jean Rhys functions as ‘the other’. In Stravinsky’s Lunch, Modjeska notes Rhys’s Dominican origin in passing, but for her it is an apparently empty signifier; in The Orchardit is not even mentioned. This is indicative of the assumptions, gaps and blind spots in Modjeska’s readings of Rhys and uncritical valorisation of Bowen’s racialised and classed othering of Rhys in Drawn from Life.

Modjeska’s conceptualisation of “the dance of domination” is drawn from U.S. analyst Jessica Benjamin’s The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism and the Problem of Domination, especially the chapter “Master and Slave”. 5 “If Quartethas any value at all”, Modjeska declares, “it is as a representation of an extreme form of the [feminine] masochistic position in the dance of domination” (O,51). Unlike Rhys, who “foundered in her own victim pleasures”, Bowen, Modjeska insists, painfully gains a feminist knowledge from her rite of endurance: “the nature of the dance in which she was engaged” in her relationship with Ford, and “her own complicity in an objectified role” (O,53). In Stravinsky’s Lunchshe extends her analysis of Rhys, stating, but not arguing, that Quartet is the scene of Rhys’s “unmann[ing]” of Ford (SL,106) and “shaft[ing]” of Bowen (SL,85). Modjeska’s description of Rhys as “savagely self-lacerating” (SL,106) confirms her view of Rhys as the quintessentially feminine “bearer of the bleeding wound”, who “can exist only in relation to castration”. 6 She tells us that she reads Quartet “with a curious sense of shame, and also an edge of fear. Perhaps Stella did too. Shame at the laying bare of feminine masochism; fear of the vengeful feminine” (SL,106).

Bowen’s account of Rhys in Drawn from Lifehas been granted extraordinary credibility by biographers of Ford and by Carole Angier, Rhys’s award-winning biographer, whose emphasis on impracticality, dependency and evasion of responsibility in Rhys’s character, draws heavily on Bowen.7 Angier describes Bowen as “a fair and honest person”, the “most reliable witness” of the “tangled affair”. 8 Yet Bowen and Ford’s financial support of Rhys, which Angier suggests was “probably until the end of 1926”, 9 clearly rankled Bowen, and the resentment permeates her commentary.

For Bowen, Rhys is the epitome of a Montparnasse artistic type she terms “the real Wild One”: unassimilable “into respectable society”; having a “mess” of a “private life” mishandled through “a series of explosions or evasions”; predating on “order-loving people” in the interests of a “rather pathetic longing for respectability as exemplified by clean linen, paid bills, and regular meals”; socially irresponsible and lawless; and indifferent to “world affairs”. For them “[i]t was quite all right to be dirty, drunk, a pervert or a thief or a whore, provided that you had a lively and an honest mind, and the courage of your instincts. What damned you was social snobbery, bourgeois ideology, smugness and carefulness”. The art of the “Wild Ones” comprises finding “new subjects for self-expression” in a predatory and cannibalising process represented as “the un-social business of assimilation”. She associates them with the “gutter” (DL,118-119). Rhys is not named as the “very pretty and gifted young woman”, the “doomed soul, violent and demoralised”, whose affair with Ford “cut the fundamental tie” between Bowen and her partner and “showed” Bowen an unfamiliar “side of life”. “The girl was a really tragic person,” writes Bowen:

She had written an unpublishably sordid novel of great sensitiveness and persuasiveness, but her gift for prose and her personal attractiveness were not enough to ensure her any reasonable life, for on the other side of the balance were bad health, destitution, shattered nerves, an undesirable husband, lack of nationality, and a complete absence of any desire for independence. (DL,166)

The novel was “Triple Sec”, based on diaries Rhys had kept during the 1910s and produced in 1924 with the editorial assistance of journalist H. Pearl Adam. Bowen alludes to it, as does Rhys in Quartet. Bowen’s allusions to it characterise Rhys as “the acme of low life” and childish and irresponsible for herself in her understanding of heterosexual love. 10Modjeska has not consulted the Jean Rhys Papers in the McFarlin Library at the University of Tulsa, among which “Triple Sec” has been held since the mid-1990s. 11 The Jean Rhys Papers also contain “L’Affaire Ford”, an account of her response to Arthur Mizener’s biography of Ford, 12 of her reading there extended quotations from Drawn from Life, and of the beginnings of her relationship with Bowen and Ford. Rhys writes here that Bowen’s omissions and suppressions distorted the truth of her account. 13

Bowen acknowledges, but does not treat sympathetically, Rhys’s depressive illness (in the terminology of the day “shattered nerves”); Modjeska and Ford’s biographers do not even acknowledge it. Max Saunders, on whose biography of Ford Modjeska draws extensively, mentions Ford’s “deep depression” during stages of his affair with Rhys; he reads Rhys’s depression, represented in that of Marya Zelli in Quartet, as “masochistic listlessness”. 14 According to Janet Oppenheim in “Shattered Nerves”: Doctors, Patients, and Depression in Victorian England, depression is characterised by “overwhelming helplessness, emptiness, impotence, and uselessness, the incapacity to focus attention or reach decisions, the obsessive thoughts and fears, the diminished self-esteem, the extreme lethargy, and the inability to take interest or pleasure in any aspect of life” that “make[s] existence scarcely tolerable”. 15 The nineteenth-century British assumptions about nerves and their disorders identified by Oppenheim are still unfortunately highly pertinent: the assumptions Bowen, Modjeska, Saunders and Angier make about depressive symptoms, even if not read as such, are “interlaced with attitudes towards success and failure, civilization and barbarism, order and chaos, masculinity and femininity”. 16 In Bowen’s and Modjeska’s moralisation of Rhys’s “shattered nerves” questions of will are crucial. Oppenheim observes that the human will was central to moral psychiatry:

exercising a supervisory function over all activities of the mind – ideas, sensory impressions, emotions, desires, imagination – and over the so-called lower impulses, or instincts, of humanity’s animal nature as well. The ability to reason, to exercise judgment, to fulfill one’s role in life were all contingent on the operations of the will, for if that became inadequate to its directing task, the personality disintegrated. 17

Richard Dyer has also elaborated the centrality of the will to imperial and colonial individualism. 18

When Suzy Gray, the protagonist and first-person narrator of “Triple Sec”, experiences a major depressive episode she alludes to the Biblical parable of the Good Samaritan to represent her sense of the lack of compassion of the English, who have uncharitably stripped her of livelihood and honour. Rhys alludes to this moment in her epigraph to Quartet,lines from a poem by R.C. Dunning originally published in the journal Ford was editing when Rhys met him, transatlantic review:

… Beware
Of good Samaritans – walk to the right
Or hide thee by the roadside out of sight
Or greet them with the smile that villains wear.

This implies for a very small audience of people familiar with “Triple Sec” in 1928 and desirous of reading Quartetas a roman à clef that the apparently kindly intervention of the Heidlers (based on the Fords) occurred during a similar depressive crisis. This audience would have included Ford, Bowen, Adam, and probably Lenglet. In the 1920s Rhys’s crisis was brought on by destitution so severe that she and her husband had to place their daughter Maryvonne in care, illegal entry into France, and the jailing of her husband in 1924 on embezzlement charges.

may be read as fictional pathography, a fictional account of illness experience. 19 As I have argued in The Worlding of Jean Rhys(1999) Rhys also pointedly engages with public discourses that circulated around the amateur prostitute in early twentieth-century Britain. The term “amateur” was used from the early to the mid-twentieth century to refer to a sexually active young woman who did not, like a prostitute, charge a fee for sex. “That she was referred to as an amateur prostitute indicated the continuing equation of active female sexuality with prostitution”, note Lucy Bland and Frank Mort. 20 Between the amateur and her partner the sexual contract is implicitly negotiated, based on mutual understandings that sex may be available freely or in exchange for gifts (for example, money, clothes, jewellery, and the like), nights out, motor rides, and the like.

“[T]he [sexual] episode appears less commercial and suggests more of passion and spontaneity than a similar episode with a professional prostitute … the whole episode may be mutually desired and mutually satisfactory”, remarked one 1930s commentator. 21 The amateur prostitute was associated with venereal disease. Pointedly the disease of Rhys’s amateur protagonists in a range of fiction is always depression. In Quartet, Marya Zelli eroticises protection/salvation after depressive episodes during the 1910s: she is “frightened of her loneliness” (Q,15) and wants to be relieved of her sense that life is an “extraordinary muddle” (Q,16). Marya senses that the anxiety around her love for H.J. Heidler is making her more depressed. Rhys uses figurations of blackness in the novel to represent a major depressive episode and questions of demoralisation, degeneration and class hierarchy. 22

Bowen represents Rhys as a Pandora figure in the bourgeois, homely world she is trying to secure as grace for her family, releasing into it “an underworld of darkness and disorder, where officialdom, the bourgeoisie and the police were the eternal enemies and the fugitive the only hero”. Athena clothed Pandora; Bowen “tried to help” Rhys “with her clothes” (DL,166). By the late nineteenth-century Athena, Marina Warner notes, had become associated with the “public virtues of political wisdom, courage, concord, discipline and self-restraint”. 23 Warner points out that in Hesiod’s founding representations of Pandora “all her sly morals and bitchy manners are instruments … of the inveigling wiles of women who want to get riches”; according to Froma I. Zetlin, she “embodies now for all time the principle of deception”. 24 Pandora’s box, to which Bowen alludes, has highly sexual connotations.

Rhys becomes an “incubus” (DL,168), and a figure of degeneration from the “moral model of upper-and middle-class sexual restraint and civility”. 25 Rhys’s morality is antithetical to the patience, honesty, and fortitude to which Bowen implicitly lays claim, thoroughly mercenary, and informed by “a rather feeble and egotistical kind of anarchism without any of the genuine revolutionary spirit which would seem to be the logical outcome of reflective destitution” (DL,166-167). A comment by Ann Laura Stoler on race and desire in empire is apposite to Bowen’s placement of Rhys in her autobiographical narrative of her own informal liberal education. Stoler writes:

Subversions to the bourgeois order were those that threatened the cultivation of personality, what Weber once called “a certain internal and external deportement in life,” that repertoire of sensibilities that were glossed as “personal character” and carefully marked the boundaries of class and race. … Cultivation of the self at once defined the interior landscapes of the “true” Europeans and the interior frontiers of the superior polities to which they were constantly reminded they rightfully belonged. 26

“You can’t have self-respect without money. You can’t even have the luxury of a personality”, Bowen notes of Rhys (DL,167). In theoretical terms drawn from Judith Butler’s work, Bowen consigns Rhys to a “domain of abject beings, those who are not yet ‘subjects'”, “whose living under the sign of the ‘unlivable’ is required to circumscribe” Bowen’s own subjectivity, and herself as the subject of feminism. 27

Bowen’s articulate disillusion with love, its culturally mandated centrality in women’s lives, and the false security it proffers leads her to transform herself into a personification of wisdom (Athena’s part) as an independent woman, “want[ing] to belong to” herself rather than “another person”, “want[ing] to slip from under the weightiness of Ford’s personality” and “regain” her “own shape” (DL,169). Bowen’s attribution of mercenary motive to Rhys negates any love Rhys may have felt for Ford (who had died in 1939). Abasing both herself and Rhys, she represents Ford’s relationships with them as a characteristic “exercise” of “his sentimental talents from time to time on a new object” to lubricate his egoistic “machinery” (DL,165).

Bowen’s racial and class othering of Rhys remains unread or underread in biographies that draw heavily on it as a source. Perhaps the racial othering is overlooked because a white woman is naming another white woman, and both were born in British colonies. Dyer notes the commonness of the idea that “whiteness is only racial when it is ‘marked’ by the presence of the truly raced, that is, non-white subject”. 28 In Bowen’s account of the French housewife in Drawn from Lifeshe implies that femininity has national and racial characteristics carried in the blood (DL,110). Rhys notes in “L’Affaire Ford”, which contains a detailed response to Arthur Mizener’s quotations from Bowen’s representation of her and uncritical embellishment of it in his biography of Ford, that the pedigree of family origins was accorded special weight by Bowen. Rhys thought her more snobbish than a typical Englishwoman on such grounds. 29

One aspect of Rhys’s representation of Lois Heidler in Quartetnot taken up by biographers intent on reading the novel as a roman à clef is Lois’s Anglo-Saxonism, a racial ideology which marginalises Marya, and implicitly informs Bowen’s sense of her own character in Drawn from Life. This ideology celebrated the purported racial character of Anglo-Saxon peoples: a desire for freedom, “humanity, strength, an uprightness of character” and sense of duty. 30 The darkness of Rhys and her world is what in Bowen’s narrative of her own character formation the Anglo-Saxonness of her own whiteness needs to transcend. 31 In reading Bowen’s rite of endurance and feminist transformation through Estés’s Jungian paradigm Modjeska naturalises this transcendence and the middle-class feminist individualism of Bowen’s separation of herself from Ford to pursue more concertedly an artistic career. The transcendence and individualism are sourced in a natural “wild” elsewhere outside the cultural circumscriptions of patriarchy.

But Bowen’s racialising of Rhys may also hint that Rhys was passing as white. The character of creole Lola Porter in Ford’s When the Wicked Man(1931) has been credibly read by Martien Kappers-den Hollander as a caricature of Rhys. 32 Angier cites Ford’s representation of Rhys there as a sign that Ford “felt there was black blood” in her. 33 Ford emphasises the racial ambiguity of white-skinned Lola, who is marked as West Indian, at one point as from Martinique and of Scottish ancestry. The character Henrietta Felice speculates that she has “gipsy blood”. 34 “[S]cenes of revelation” of racial category are, as Mary Ann Doane notes, a generic feature of the passing-as-white narrative. 35 When the Wicked Mandoes not contain an explicit revelation scene, but rather many implicit signs of Lola’s racial mix in the spectacle Lola makes of herself.

Doane points to the recurring motif in passing narratives of “a betrayal by one’s own body of racial identity”. 36 Angier, for instance, reads Rhys’s eyes, “like a black person’s eyes in a white face”, as a sign of mixed-race ancestry. 37 In When the Wicked ManLola’s mixed ancestry is signalled by her “taste[s]” (a term drawn here from a discourse of cultural breeding) 38 and “appetites”, especially in moments of abandon, usually alcoholic. She has a “taste only for toughs and low life” (WWM,154), and a penchant for telling “fantastic and horrible details of obi and the voodoo practices of the coloured people of her childhood’s home” (WWM,115), “smut”, the hurling of “mournful sewer[s]” of abuse (WWM,207), and “dancing half nude with a very formidable racketeer in a regular tohuwabohu [sic] of negroes, mulatresses and gangsters” (WWM,245). According to the OED Tohuvabohu is “That which is empty and formless; chaos; utter confusion”. It is a Hebrew word translated as “without form and void” in the King James translation of the Bible:

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form and void; and darkness wasupon the face of the deep.

The novel’s protagonist Joseph Notterdam sums Lola up as having the “appetites of a Caribbean savage” (WWM,262). His view is not undercut by the novel’s authorial voice. Ford’s biographer Max Saunders urges that Ford’s characterisation of Rhys in Lola is plausible, “too true” to Rhys’s conduct when inebriated, and that Ford is not motivated by vengeance.39

The reference point for the formulation “appetites of a Caribbean savage” is the stereotype of Carib Indians, “the archetype of unregenerate savagery”, which Peter Hulme has noted is based in large part on “their widespread reputation as cannibals”. 40 Rhys herself would make use of the primitive/savage distinction to separate West Indians of African ancestry and Caribs. 41 Bowen’s metaphor of cannibalising attached to the Wild Ones, epitomised by Rhys, resonates in this context. So, too, does her description of Rhys as “a doomed soul, violent and demoralised” (DL,166). Here her discourse shifts from the stereotype of the Carib as savage to a more contemporaneous stereotype: the Carib as member of a demoralised and doomed race. “[W]e [Ford and Bowen] appeared to represent her last chance of survival”, writes Bowen (DL,167). Ford is placing Lola/Rhys as Dominican: Dominica has the most significant Carib Indian community of island Caribbean countries.

Ford’s and Bowen’s representations of the encounter with the savage, as well as Modjeska’s appropriation of the discourse in a formulation about Rhys like “savagely self-lacerating” (SL, 106), recycle several of the colonial topoi Hulme notes in Remnants of Conquest: The Island Caribs and their Visitors, 1877-1998: “the trope of self-victimization” in relation to the consequences of unprovoked attack for “savages”; and “negative causality”; the “lack of apparent reason for attack” by the unruly. 42

In Modjeska’s reading, for instance, Rhys’s vengeful violence against Ford and Bowen is not motivated or justified by their treatment of her. By the 1920s Carib fraternisation with black inhabitants had brought into question Carib purity of blood. 43 Bowen’s and Ford’s representations of Rhys bring into question, implicitly and explicitly, her purity of blood. Destitution and listlessness have also been attributed to Carib people by twentieth-century visitors. 44 When applied to the apparent depression of white creole Rhys (vide Saunders), listlessness acquires a descriptor of sexual perversion, “masochistic” – this is the implicit motivation of “self-victimization”. In Modjeska’s account of Rhys’s masochism, masochism is metonymic of women’s abject gendered position within an ahistorical patriarchy. There is no theatre of sadomasochistic sexual violence in Quartet;rather, in readings like Modjeska’s, emotional violence structures the relationship between H.J. Heidler and Marya Zelli.

Modjeska’s biographical reading of Quartetdraws on a stereotype of the “Rhys woman”, a concept which Sonie Wilson cogently elucidates as “a kind of shorthand for passive self-obsessed victim who is dependant on men” which “undercuts Rhys’s authorial status” by conflating her with her protagonists. “The construction of the ‘Rhys woman’ also constitutes an erasure of Rhys’s West Indian identity; apart from contributing to a vague exoticism, Rhys’s background was rarely acknowledged in typically reductive portrayals of her”, Wilson explains. 45 Fine studies of Rhys which challenge this concept, for example, Mary Lou Emery’s Jean Rhys at “World’s End”(1990), Coral Ann Howells’s Jean Rhys(1991) and Veronica Marie Gregg’s Jean Rhys’s Historical Imagination(1995), 46 were available to Modjeska, but they do not inform her reading of Rhys or Quartet.

Rhys’s authorial identification with a physically disabled Carib girl in her story “Temps Perdi” 47 has been has been variously analysed by Howells, Hulme and myself. The story’s female narrator, an expatriate white Dominican, recognises the girl as passing for Carib for tourists to photograph in the Carib Quarter of Dominica. One of the reasons for Rhys’s ambiguous identification with the girl may be that in Europe her Dominican origins and understandings of her character and depressive illness had been racially marked as Carib. She had also been marked as a racially contaminated and contaminating figure.

In reading Bowen’s account of the adulterous liaison between Rhys and Ford, and its implication of herself, one needs to work to understand the structures of address between white women, and the motivated racialisations which might inform them. The failure to recognise Bowen’s Anglo-Saxonism suggests how deeply sedimented an ideology it is within late twentieth-century Western culture. Bowen’s narrative of feminist transformation conforms to late twentieth-century feminist individualist assumptions about women’s roles and expectations. For this reason, perhaps, it invites a too ready identification rather than a critical distance.

In her writing about Rhys, Modjeska (following in the footsteps of Stella Bowen, Max Saunders and Carole Angier) has drawn on a legacy of assumptions from Victorian moral psychiatry that has contributed to an incomprehension surrounding and stigmatisation of depressive illness.

Sue Thomas is Reader in English and Coordinator of the English Program at La Trobe University, Melbourne.

A shorter version of this essay was first presented as a paper at the Fourth Biennial Conference of the Australian Association for Caribbean Studies, Australian National University, 8-10 February 2001. Sue Thomas would like to thank the conference organisers, Barry Higman, Marivic Wyndham, Jacqueline Lo, and Rosamund Dalziell, for the occasion, and Peter Hulme for a felicitously timed gift.


1 Drusilla Modjeska, The Orchard. 1994. Sydney: Macmillan, 1994.

2 Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run with the Wolves: Contacting the Power of the Wild Woman. London: Rider, 1992, pp. 388-421.

3 In this essay I refer to the following editions: Jean Rhys, Quartet. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1973; and Stella Bowen, Drawn from Life. London: Virago, 1984. Jean Lenglet, writing as Edouard de Nève, also published a novel based on Rhys’s entanglement with Ford and Bowen; Rhys translated it into English as Barred. Martien Kappers-den Hollander compares the English, Dutch and French versions of the novel in “A Gloomy Child and Its Devoted Godmother: Barred,Sous les verrous, and In de Strik.Jean Rhys Review 1.2 (Spring 1987): 20-30. Rhys, she points out, edited her translation. Rhys “eliminate[s]” the character Lenglet based on Bowen, Mme. Hübner, “effacing Lenglet’s attacks on Stella Bowen” for “complicity”, complacency “regarding her husband’s escapades”, and “plotting and scheming” (pp. 23-24).

4 Drusilla Modjeska, Stravinsky’s Lunch. Sydney: Picador, 1999.

5 Jessica Benjamin, The Bonds of Love: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and the Problem of Domination. 1988. London: Virago, 1990.

6 The quotation is from Laura Mulvey, Visual and Other Pleasures. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana UP, 1989, p. 14.

7 Carole Angier, Jean Rhys: Life and Work. Rev. ed. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1992, describes Rhys as having a “voracious, insatiable need for dependence – and then suddenly such a fear of being taken over”, and as being unable to “accept any responsibility whatsover” (p. 658).

8 Angier, pp. 139; 161.

9 Angier, p. 161.

10 In “Triple Sec” Rhys describes frequenting the Crabtree Club; Bowen refers to its clientele in Drawn from Lifeas the “acme of low life” (36). Bowen comments: “To realise that there can be no such thing as ‘belonging’ to another person (for in the last resort you must be responsible for yourself, just as you must prepare to die alone), is surely a necessary part of an adult’s education!” (168). Suzy Gray’s relationship with Carl Stahl in “Triple Sec” is structured around a thematic of Suzy belonging to Carl. It is one of the white slavery motifs which helps Suzy make sense and near parodic nonsense of her experience with him. See my article on Jean Rhys’s representations of abortion in TheJean Rhys Review 12.1 (2001, in press). Bowen’s comment certainly also resonates with a letter she wrote to Ford shortly before they began living together: “To have you really belong to me … & to belong really to you is like coming home after a long exile” (qtd. in Stravinsky’s Lunch, pp. 54-55).

11 The use made of “Triple Sec” by Rhys’s biographer Carole Angier alerted scholars to its continued existence in 1990; it was acquired for the Jean Rhys Papers by the Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, University of Tulsa as part of Francis Wyndham’s Executor’s Archive.

12 Arthur Mizener, The Saddest Story: A Biography of Ford Madox Ford. New York and Cleveland: World Publishing, 1971.

13 Jean Rhys, “L’Affaire Ford”. Jean Rhys Papers, Department of Special Collections, McFarlin Library, University of Tulsa, p. [2].

14 Max Saunders, Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life. Volume II: The After-War World. Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 1996, pp. 286-287.

15 Janet Oppenheim, “Shattered Nerves”: Doctors, Patients, and Depression in Victorian England. New York: Oxford UP, 1999, p. 3.

16 ibid.

17 ibid, p. 43.

18 Richard Dyer,White. London: Routledge, 1997, pp. 31-32.

19 On pathography see John Wiltshire, “The Patient’s Story: Towards a Definition of Pathography”. Meridian 12.2 (1993): 99-113.

20 Lucy Bland and Frank Mort, “Look Out for the ‘Good Time’ Girl: Dangerous Sexualities as a Threat to National Health”. Formations of Nation and People. Ed. Formations Editorial Collective. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1984, pp. 131;140.

21 Quoted in Cate Haste, Rules of Desire: Sex in Britain: World War I to the Present. London: Chatto and Windus, 1992, pp. 134-135.

22 Sue Thomas, The Worlding of Jean Rhys. Westport, CT and London: Greenwood, 1999, chap. 4.

23 Lewis Farnell, qtd. in Marina Warner, Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form. 1985. London: Pan, 1987, p. 126.

24 Warner, p. 217; Froma I. Zetlin, qtd. in Warner, p. 216.

25 Sharon W. Tiffany and Kathleen J. Adams, The Wild Woman: An Inquiry into the Anthropology of an Idea. Cambridge, MA: Schenkman Publishing, 1985, p. 17. Tiffany and Adams are writing more generally about the ‘othering’ of the wild woman.

26 Ann Laura Stoler, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham and London: Duke UP, 1995, p. 191.

27 Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of “Sex”.New York and London: Routledge, 1993, p. 3.

28 Dyer, p. 14.

29 “L’Affaire Ford”, p. [4].

30 On Anglo-Saxonism see Kwame Anthony Appiah, “Race”. Critical Terms for Literary Study. Ed. Frank Lentricchia and Thomas McLaughlin. Chicago and London: U of Chicago P, 1990, pp. 274-287, and Benjamin Kidd, Social Evolution. 1894. London: Macmillan, 1896. My quotation is from Kidd, p. 350.

31 My formulation of this point draws on Dyer’s observation: “Dark desires are part of the story of whiteness, but as what the whiteness of whiteness has to struggle against” (p. 28).

32 Martien Kappers-den Hollander, “Measure for Measure: Quartetand When the Wicked Man“. Jean Rhys Review 2.1 (Spring 1988): 2-17.

33 Angier, p. 656.

34 Ford Madox Ford, When the Wicked Man. London: Jonathan Cape, 1932, p. 171.

35 Mary Ann Doane, Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis. New York and London: Routledge, 1991, p. 234.

36 ibid.

37 Angier, p. 656.

38 On this discursive link see Philip Cohen, “The Perversions of Inheritance: Studies in the Making of Multi-Racist Britain”. Multi-Racist Britain. Ed. Philip Cohen and Harwant S. Bains. Houndsmills: Macmillan Education, 1988, pp. 9-118.

39 Saunders, p. 297.

40 Peter Hulme, Remnants of Conquest: The Island Caribs and their Visitors, 1877-1998. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000, p. 3.

41 I discuss this distinction in her work in Chapter 7 of The Worlding of Jean Rhys.

42 Hulme, p. 191.

43 ibid, p. 96.

44 Hulme, p. 284.

45 See Sonie Wilson, “Tracing the Caribbean: Elaine Savory’s Jean Rhys“. CRNLE Journal2000, p.197 Wilson elucidates the concept more fully in “Jean Rhys as Autobiographer: Subjectivity and Scenarios of Vision in Smile Please.” Diss. La Trobe U, 1999.

46 Mary Lou Emery, Jean Rhys at “World’s End”: Novels of Colonial and Sexual Exile. Austin: U of Texas P, 1990; Coral Ann Howells, Jean Rhys. Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991; and Veronica Marie Gregg, Jean Rhys’s Historical Imagination: Reading and Writing the Creole. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1995.

47 Jean Rhys, “Temps Perdi”. Tales of the Wide Caribbean. Ed. Kenneth Ramchand. London: Heinemann, [1986], pp. 144-161.

If you would like to contribute to this discussion, please email [email protected]