Mary Stephenson explores the life of writer Jean Rhys, best known for her 1966 novel 'Wide Sargasso Sea'. From May 2009.
Mary Stephenson, who worked for the novelist Jean Rhys in the final months of her life before her death in 1979, remembers the time she spent with her as she took dictation of her autobiography.
At the time she answered Jean's advertisement for a typist, Mary was in her early 30s and she found the 87-year-old Rhys to be, by turns, charming, infuriating and embittered; sometimes her memories would light her up, sometimes they would fire her anger.
Now a writer herself, Mary's recollections draw on extracts from the book she typed - Jean's autobiography Smile Please. Two other women in Jean's life, her editor Diana Athill and her friend Diana Melly, also add their own memories of the author at this final, troubled stage of her life.
Jean Rhys is played by Merelina Kendall.