Mansfield, Katherine 1 — , was born in Wellington as Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp, into a family with vigorous social ambitions. Her mother was the delicate and aloof Annie Dyer; her father, Harold Beauchamp, a canny and successful businessman.
New Zealand Stories by Katherine Mansfield - Penguin Books New Zealand
She immersed herself in French, German and music, and began writing sketches and prose poems. The New Zealander and the European had begun their never quite resolved engagement. Kathleen Beauchamp returned to Wellington, rebellious and unsettled, in late Although her life was comfortable and socially expansive, for the next twenty months she warred against parental vigilance, and found Wellington understandably provincial.
Within weeks life was, as she had hoped, complex and sophisticated. She was in love with Garnet Trowell, a young violinist whose father had taught her the cello in Wellington.
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When the affair collapsed some months later, she impulsively married G. Bowden, a singing teacher whose name she officially bore for the next nine years, but whom she left the day after the marriage.
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She returned to Garnet, travelled with his opera company, became pregnant, and again separated. Usually referred to as L. After the birth of a stillborn child, Mansfield stayed on in Germany until the next January. She formed a liaison of sorts with the Polish translator, journalist and con-man, Florian Sobienowski.
The months in Bavaria also provided the occasion for the satirical stories she began contributing to A.
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The stories spared neither Germans nor family life, and presented sex, pregnancy and social divisions with almost ferocious candour. It was a call that brought from Mansfield the small group of New Zealand stories that depicted the emotional and physical violence of raw colonial life. When Rhythm folded in mid, she and Murry jointly edited the three issues of its successor, the Blue Review. Soon after they began an intense and troubled friendship with D.
Lawrence and Frieda Weekley, at whose marriage they featured as official witnesses. Soon after the outbreak of World War 1, they moved to Great Missenden, with the Lawrences not far off, and Mansfield began her deep and lasting friendship with the Ukrainian Jew, S. When her relationship with Murry seemed close to falling apart, she set out for Paris in early , to the borrowed apartment of the French novelist, journalist and committed bohemian Francis Carco.
Before her return to Murry, Mansfield began in The Aloe what she hoped would be a novel based on her own family, and the move when she was a child from Tinakori Road to Karori. Memories were further revived when she met up with her beloved younger brother Leslie, who had joined a British regiment. But the enduring motive for a return to New Zealand settings, and her intense focusing on both memory and a new narrative technique, was the death of her brother in Belgium in October I feel no longer concerned with the same appearance of things.
For a time Maynard Keynes was her landlord, Lytton Strachey was attracted to her because she was like a Japanese doll, Bertrand Russell admired her mind and attempted an affair, while T. Fergusson, and the American Anne Estelle Rice, whose portrait of her is in the National Museum in Wellington; and increasingly with the deaf aristocrat, Dorothy Brett, who also painted. But it was illness, rather than choice, that led to her gradual separation from most of her friends in England.
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From early , when her tuberculosis became a matter of serious concern, Mansfield moved constantly between London and the Riviera. Even after her marriage to Murry in mid-year, she remained dependent on Ida Baker as companion and quasi-nurse, while Murry was committed to his war work in MI5, then later to his journalism. With various winterings-over in Bandol, Ospedaletti, San Remo and Menton, and summers back in Hampstead, Mansfield accumulated enough stories to put together Bliss and Other Stories In early Murry had taken over editorship of the Athenaeum and separation, reuniting, and again separation established itself as the rhythm of their lives, while there flowed between them a highly charged correspondence.
Those written to Murry took on the added poignancy of a constant but frequently tested love, with the sharp tracing of her illness in the recurring sequence of elation as she first moved, regret and confusion while they were apart, then restored delight. Her vivacity and frankness as a correspondent increasingly prompts critics to value her letters as highly as her fiction. Although diverting and astute, she seldom had the chance in her reviews to discuss any but inferior fiction.
That same month Mansfield left for Switzerland, where she and Murry, who had resigned from the Athenaeum, took a chalet at Montana-sur-Sierre. Disillusioned with current medical practice, Mansfield decided on an expensive and useless X-ray treatment. Although Gurdjieff treated her kindly, she was by no means a disciple. Her quest was very much along personal lines, a movement against what she regarded as the crippling intellectualism of post-war European life.
In almost her last letter, she declared her goal to be total honesty. Her defining themes of New Zealand, childhood, adulthood, social class, class conflict, innocence, and experience often focused on trivial events and subtle changes in human behaviour. During the First World War Mansfield contracted extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, which rendered any return or visit to New Zealand impossible and led to her death at the tender age of 34 on 9th January, in Fontainebleau, France.
Her stories provide a legacy far beyond her years but leave us wondering what she could have been capable of had she lived longer. This volume comes to you from Miniature Masterpieces, a specialized imprint from Deadtree Publishing. Our range is large and growing and covers single authors, themes, and many compilations. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join.
Home Audiobooks Contemporary Fiction. Save For Later. Create a List. Summary In this series we look at short stories from many of our most accomplished writers. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere.
Katherine Mansfield - More Short Stories (Audiobook)
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