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Wide Sargasso Sea, Burkini, MS, Mature students

Should governments tell women what they can wear? How writing can help women through stress and illness. Older African Caribbean women return to education. The first Mrs Rochester.

As a French court is asked to overturn bans imposed by 26 towns on women wearing full-body swimsuits known as 'burkinis' on the beach and protestors against the ban stage a 'wear what you want beach party' outside the French embassy in London Jenni discusses whether governments should have the right to tell people what they can and can't wear.

The last in our series of interviews with women who use their creativity to help them through stress or illness. Victoria Storey has Multiple sclerosis and finds the pain and the instability caused by the condition mean that she is frequently unable to leave her bed or walk unaided. She talks to Melissa Viney.

A growing number of older African Caribbean women are returning to education. 433 black women over 50 have enrolled at Birkbeck in the past three years, almost three times as many as a decade ago. Jan Etienne, a lecturer at Birkbeck interviewed more than 100 women for her book 'Learning in Womanist Ways'. Jenni spoke to Palmela Witter, Dawn Joseph and Jean Ju-Pierre about their experiences.

Love and betrayal and madness: it's 50 years since Jean Rhys' masterpiece Wide Sargasso Sea was published. It tells the story of the first Mrs Rochester, the madwoman in the attic of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. Dr Laura Fish, senior lecturer in creative writing at Northumbria University and author Julia Rochester talk about the novel and its impact.

Presenter: Jenni Murray.

Available now

58 minutes


  • Burkini Ban

    Journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and fashion historian Amber Butchart

    Duration: 10:55

  • Creativity and Illness: Victoria

    Victoria Storey has MS and expresses herself through poetry

    Duration: 07:51

  • Returning to Education Over 50

    Jenni speaks to Palmela Witter, Dawn Joseph and Jean Ju-Pierre

    Duration: 11:56

  • 50 Years of Wide Sargasso Sea

    Dr Laura Fish (Northumbria University) and author Julia Rochester talk about the novel

    Duration: 10:48


Role Contributor
Interviewed Guest Laura Fish
Interviewed Guest Julia Rochester
Interviewed Guest Victoria Storey
Interviewed Guest Melissa Viney
Interviewed Guest Esmat Jeraj
Interviewed Guest India Thorogood
Interviewed Guest Jan Etienne
Interviewed Guest Palmela Witter
Interviewed Guest Dawn Joseph
Interviewed Guest Jean Ju-Pierre
Presenter Jenni Murray


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