- Katherine Mansfield
name = Kathleen Mansfield Murry
imagesize = 180px
pseudonym = Katherine Mansfield
birthdate = Birth date|1888|10|14
birthplace = Wellington, New Zealand
deathdate = Death date and age|1923|01|09|1888|10|14
deathplace = Fontainebleau, France
nationality = New Zealand
movement = Modernism
Elizabeth von Arnim(cousin)
Kathleen Mansfield Murry (
14 October 1888– 9 January 1923) was a prominent New Zealand modernist writer of short fiction who wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield.
Mansfield was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp into a socially prominent family in
Wellington, New Zealand. The daughter of a banker and born to a middle-class colonial family, she was also a first cousin of author Countess Elizabeth von Arnim. Mansfield had two older sisters and a younger brother, born in 1894. Mansfield wrote, in her journals, of feeling alienated to some extent in New Zealand, and, in general terms, of how she became disillusioned due to the repression of the Māoripeople—who were often portrayed in a sympathetic or positive light in her later stories, such as " How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped".citebook|author=Katherine Mansfield|title=Selected Stories|publisher=Oxford World's Classics|isbn=9780192839862]
Her first published stories appeared in the "High School Reporter" and the Wellington Girls' High School magazine, in 1898 and 1899. She moved to
Londonin 1903, where she attended Queen's College, London, along with her two sisters. A talented cellist, she was not at first attracted to literature. After finishing her schooling in England, Beauchamp returned to her New Zealand home in 1906, only then beginning to write short stories. She rapidly wearied of the provincial New Zealand lifestyle, however, and two years later headed again for London.
Back in London in 1908, Beauchamp quickly fell into the bohemian way of life lived by many artists and writers of that era. [ [http://www.britishempire.co.uk/biography/mansfield.htm] "Brististempire.co.uk" Retrieved on 05-25-07] With little money, she met, married and left her first husband, George Bowden, all within just three weeks. Before long, she became pregnant by a family friend from
New Zealand(Garnet Trowell, a professional violinist) and her mother sent her to Bavaria. [ [http://www.britishempire.co.uk/biography/mansfield.htm http://www.britishempire.co.uk/biography/mansfield.htm] "Britishempire.co.uk" Retrieved on 05-25-07 ] However, she suffered a miscarriagein 1909, possibly brought on by lifting her trunk off the top of a wardrobe.
Back in England, her work drew the attention of several publishing houses, and Beauchamp adopted the pen-name Katherine Mansfield on the publication of her first collection of short stories, "In a German Pension", in 1911. She also contracted
gonorrhoeaaround this time, an event that was to plague her with arthritic pain for the rest of her short life, as well as to make her view herself as a 'soiled' woman.
Although discouraged by the volume's lack of success, Mansfield submitted a lightweight story to a new avant-garde magazine called "Rhythm". The piece was rejected by the magazine's editor,
John Middleton Murry, who requested something darker. Mansfield responded with "The Woman at the Store," a tale of murder and mental illness that Murry called "the best story by far that had been sent to "Rhythm"."
Visitors to her flat often found her dressed in a kimono, and, when Murry called on her, she served him cups of teas in bowls because she had no cups and saucers. Soon after publication of "The Woman at the Store", Mansfield, attracted to Murry, invited him to move into the spare bedroom of her sparsely furnished bohemian flat. They began an eccentric, on-again off-again relationship, which eventually led to marriage in 1918. They moved home many times, and often lived apart. Some have characterised their "child-love" as co-dependent, and despite her strong attraction to the good-looking Murry, Mansfield would often feel neglected, especially in the later years when she suffered from tuberculosis. Neither seemed to believe in strong commitments, although there are signs that Mansfield may have lived to regret their style of marriage. Her close friend, Ida Baker, often looked after her when she and Murry were apart.
Mansfield's life and work were changed forever by the death of her brother, a soldier, during
World War I. She was shocked and traumatised by the experience, so much so that her work began to take refuge in the nostalgic reminiscences of their childhood in New Zealand. [ [http://www.britishempire.co.uk/biography/mansfield.htm http://www.britishempire.co.uk/biography/mansfield.htm] "Britishempire.co.uk" Retrieved on 05-25-07 ] During these years, she also formed important professional friendships with writers such as D. H. Lawrenceand Virginia Woolf, who later claimed "And I was jealous of [Mansfield's] writing. The only writing I've ever been jealous of. She had the vibration".
Mansfield continued writing in the years between "In a German Pension" and her second story collection, "Prelude", which eventually appeared in 1918. However, she rarely published any of this work, and sank into depression. Her health declined further after a near-fatal attack of
pleurisyafter she contracted tuberculosisin 1917. It was while combating TB--including suffering a serious haemorrhage in 1918--in various health spas across Europe, that Mansfield began to create the works for which she would become best known.
"Miss Brill," the bittersweet story of a fragile woman living an ephemeral life of observation and simple pleasures in
Paris, established Mansfield as one of the preeminent writers of the Modernistperiod, upon its publication in 1920's "Bliss". The title story from that collection, "Bliss," which involved a similar character facing her husband's infidelity, also found critical acclaim. She followed with the equally praised collection, " [http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/mansfield/garden/party.html The Garden Party] ", published in 1922.
Mansfield spent her last years seeking increasingly unorthodox cures for her tuberculosis. In February 1922, she consulted the Russian physician
Ivan Manoukhin. His "revolutionary" treatment, which consisted of bombarding her spleenwith X-rays, caused Mansfield to develop heat flashes and numbness in her legs.
Dictionary of National Biography" reports that she now came to feel that her attitude to life had been unduly rebellious, and she sought, during the days that remained to her, to renew and compose her spiritual life. In October 1922, Mansfield moved to Georges Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Manin Fontainebleau, France, where she was under the care of Olgivanna Lazovitch Hinzenburg (later, Mrs. Frank Lloyd Wright). Mansfield suffered a fatal pulmonary hemorrhage in January 1923, after running up a flight of stairs to show Murry how well she was. [cite book|url=http://books.google.com/books?id=OP_bJDyvBnoC&pg=PT126&lpg=PT126&dq=%22katherine+mansfield%22+stairs+murry&source=web&ots=lvc5Oqts0R&sig=dC2mYDmOQUv0jVqujB9-qYO9vGQ|title=The Creative Mystique: From Red Shoes Frenzy to Love and Creativity|author=Susan Kavaler-Adler|pages=p 113|year=1996|id=ISBN 0415914124] She was buried in a cemetery in the Fontainebleau District in the town of Avon.
Mansfield proved to be a prolific writer in the final years of her life, and much of her prose and poetry remained unpublished at her death. Murry took on the task of editing and publishing her works.
His efforts resulted in two additional volumes of short stories in 1923 ("The Dove's Nest") and in 1924 ("Something Childish"), as well as her "Poems", "The Aloe", a collection of critical writings ("Novels and Novelists") and a number of editions of Mansfield's previously unpublished letters and journals.
Katherine Mansfield is widely considered one of the best short story writers of her period. A number of her works, including "Miss Brill", "Prelude", "The Garden Party", "The Doll's House", and later works such as "The Fly", are frequently collected in short story anthologies. Mansfield also proved ahead of her time in her adoration of Russian playwright and short story writer
Anton Chekhov, and incorporated some of his themes and techniques into her writing. Mount Roskill Grammar Schoolin Auckland, RangioraHigh School in North Canterbury, Tauranga Girls' Collegein Tauranga, Westlake Girls' High School in Auckland, Macleans Collegein Auckland, Wellington Girls' Collegein Wellington, Southland Girls' High Schoolin Invercargilland Rangitoto Collegein Auckland have a house named after her. KaroriNormal School in Wellingtonhas a stone monument dedicated to her with a plaque commemorating her work and her time at the school.
A street in
Menton, France, where she lived and wrote, is named after her and a Fellowship is offered annually to enable a New Zealand writer to work at her former home, the Villa Isola Bella. New Zealand's pre-eminent short story competition is also named in her honour.
In a German Pension" (1911), ISBN 1-86941-014-9
*"The Garden Party: and Other Stories" (1922), ISBN 1-86941-016-5
The Doves' Nest: and Other Stories" (1923), ISBN 1-86941-017-3
*"Bliss: and Other Stories" (1923)
*"Poems" (1923), ISBN 0-19-558199-7
Something Childish" (1924), ISBN 1-86941-018-1, first published in the U.S. as "The Little Girl"
The Journal of Katherine Mansfield" (1927, 1954), ISBN 0-88001-023-1
The Letters of Katherine Mansfield" (2 vols., 1928-29)
The Aloe" (1930), ISBN 0-86068-520-9
Novels and Novelists" (1930), ISBN 0-403-02290-8
The Short Stories of Katherine Mansfield" (1937)
The Scrapbook of Katherine Mansfield" (1939)
The Collected Stories of Katherine Mansfield" (1945, 1974), ISBN 0-14-118368-3
Letters to John Middleton Murry, 1913-1922" (1951), ISBN 0-86068-945-X
The Urewera Notebook" (1978), ISBN 0-19-558034-6
The Critical Writings of Katherine Mansfield" (1987), ISBN 0-312-17514-0
The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield" (4 vols., 1984-96)
**Vol. 1, 1903-17, ISBN 0-19-812613-1
**Vol. 2, 1918-19, ISBN 0-19-812614-X
**Vol. 3, 1919-20, ISBN 0-19-812615-8
**Vol. 4, 1920-21, ISBN 0-19-818532-4
The Katherine Mansfield Notebooks" (2 vols., 1997), ISBN 0-8166-4236-2
The Woman At The Store" (1912)
How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped" (1912)
Something Childish But Very Natural" (1914)
The Little Governess" (1915)
Feuille d'Album" (1917)
A Dill Pickle" (1917)
Je ne parle pas français" (1917)
An Indiscreet Journey" (1920)
Miss Brill" (1920)
Sun and Moon" (1920)
The Wind Blows" (1920)
Mr Reginald Peacock's Day" (1920)
*"Marriage à la Mode" (1921)
*"The Voyage" (1921)
Her First Ball" (1921)
Mr and Mrs Dove" (1921)
Life of Ma Parker" (1921)
The Daughters of the Late Colonel" (1921)
*"The Stranger" (1921)
The Man Without a Temperament" (1921)
At The Bay" (1922)
*"The Fly" (1922)
*"The Garden Party" (1922)
A Cup of Tea" (1922)
*"The Doll's House" (1922)
A Married Man's Story" (1923)
*"The Canary"" (1923)
New Zealand literature
Elizabeth von Arnim, cousin and novelist
John Middleton Murry, husband and editor
* [http://www.katherinemansfield.com/ Official website]
* [http://www.katherinemansfield.net/index.htm An extensive website based on resource material for the new biography by
* [http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2924 Literary Encyclopedia biography]
* [http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/kmansfi.htm Biography]
* [http://mansfield.raconter.net Biography, Works Review]
* [http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/name-208662.html Images & e-texts of her works at NZeTC]
* [http://gutenberg.net.au/plusfifty-a-m.html#mansfield Works by Katherine Mansfield] at [http://gutenberg.net.au Project Gutenberg Australia]
* [http://emotional-literacy-education.com/classic-books-online-b/gprty10.htm The Garden Party at "Encyclopedia of the Self"]
* [http://www.katherinemansfield.com/ Birthplace Trust Wellington]
* [http://www.gurdjieff-bibliography.com/Current/katherinemansfield.htm Katherine Mansfield at Fontainebleau]
* [http://www.eastoftheweb.com/cgi-bin/read_db.pl?search_field=&order_by=author_last%2Ctitle&page=1&search_for=mansfield Some Katherine Mansfield Short Stories]
* [http://www.bnz.co.nz/About_Us/1,,3-34-482,00.html Bank of New Zealand Katherine Mansfield Awards]
* [http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/objectdetails.aspx?oid=41995&coltype=art®no=1940-0009-1 Portrait of Katherine Mansfield by Anne Estelle Rice]
NAME= Mansfield, Katherine
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Murray, Katherine Mansfield; Beauchamp, Katherine Mansfield
SHORT DESCRIPTION= Author
DATE OF BIRTH=
14 October 1888
PLACE OF BIRTH=
Wellington New Zealand.
DATE OF DEATH=
9 January 1923)
PLACE OF DEATH=
Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, Fontainebleau, France
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