My own experience and their evidence leave me convinced that Jean Rhys allowed no piece of writing to leave her hands until it was finished except for the very smallest details. An example of her perfectionism; some five years after the publication of Wide Sargasso Sea she said to me out of the blue: ‘There is one thing I’ve always wanted to ask you. Why did you let me publish that book?’ Here a gloss is necessary. She was a writer addressing her editor — a writer hampered by unusually beautiful manners. For ‘let me publish’ you must read ‘badger me into publishing’ — an unfair accusation as it happens. I was indignant when I asked her what on earth she meant. ‘It was not finished,’ she said coldly. She then pointed out the existence in the book of two unnecessary words. One was ‘then’, the other ‘quite’.
From the Foreword to Jean Rhys, Smile Please: an unfinished autobiography (1979).