Katherine Mansfield

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Mansfield, Katherine,

1888–1923, British author, b. New Zealand, regarded as one of the masters of the short story. Her original name was Kathleen Beauchamp. A talented cellist, she did not turn to literature until 1908. Her first volume of short stories, In a German Pension (1911), was not remarkable and achieved little notice, but the stories in Bliss (1920) and The Garden Party (1922) established her as a major writer. Later volumes of stories include The Dove's Nest (1923) and Something Childish (1924; U.S. ed. The Little Girl, 1924). Her collected stories appeared in 1937. Novels and Novelists (1930) is a compilation of critical essays. After an unhappy first marriage, she married John Middleton MurryMurry, John Middleton,
1889–1957, English critic and editor. In 1919 he became editor of the Athenaeum and in 1923 founded his own review, the Adelphi, with which he was associated until 1948. He was friendly with many literary personalities, notably T. S.
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, an editor and critic, in 1918. During the last five years of her life she suffered from tuberculosis and succumbed to the disease at the age of 35. Mansfield's stories, which reveal the influence of Chekhov, are simple in form, luminous and evocative in substance. With delicate plainness they present elusive moments of decision, defeat, and small triumph. After her death Murry culled a number of books from her notebooks, editing her poems (1923, new ed. 1930), her journals (1927), her letters (1928), and a collection of unfinished pieces from her notebooks (1939).

Bibliography

See her letters ed. by V. O'Sullivan and M. Scott (2 vol., 1984–87) and her notebooks ed. by M. Scott (2003); biographies by J. Meyers (1980), N. Crone (1986), and C. Tomalin (1988); studies by C. Hanson, ed. (1987), G. Boddy (1988), and J. Meyers (2002).

Mansfield, Katherine

 

(pseudonym of Kathleen Beauchamp). Born Oct. 14, 1888, in Wellington, New Zealand; died Jan. 9, 1923, in Fontainebleau, France. British author.

The daughter of a banker, Mansfield was educated in Great Britain. Her short stories (the collections In a German Pension[1911], Bliss and Other Stories[1920], and The Garden Party and Other Stories [1922]) are distinguished for their subtle psychological insight and uncompromising attitude toward the petit bourgeois world and its mores. Mansfield’s sense of the drama of everyday life is reminiscent of Chekhov’s short stories. Her posthumously published reviews, letters, and diaries are of considerable interest.

WORKS

Journal London, 1954.
Collected Stories. London, 1956.
The Letters. London, 1928.
In Russian translation:
Rasskazy. [Introductory article by M. Shereshevskaia.] Moscow, 1958.

REFERENCES

Istoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958. Pages 103–04.
Alpers, A. K. Mansfield. London, 1956.
Murry, J. M. K. Mansfield and Other Literary Studies. London, 1959.
Magalaner, M. The Fiction of K. Mansfield. Carbondale, 111., 1971.

E. A. GUSEVA