Image of Katherine Mansfield


Lifetime: 1888 - 1923 Passed: ≈ 100 years ago


Short Story Writer, Poet


New Zealand

Katherine Mansfield

Kathleen Mansfield Murry was a prominent modernist writer who was born and brought up in New Zealand. She wrote short stories and poetry under the pen name Katherine Mansfield. When she was 19, she left colonial New Zealand and settled in England, where she became a friend of D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Lady Ottoline Morrell and others in the orbit of the Bloomsbury Group. Mansfield was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis in 1917 and she died in France aged 34.

Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp was born in 1888 into a socially prominent family in Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand. Her grandfather Arthur Beauchamp briefly represented the Picton electorate in parliament. She wrote in her journals of feeling alienated in New Zealand, and of how she had become disillusioned because of the repression of the Māori people. Māori characters often are portrayed in a sympathetic or positive light in her later stories, such as "How Pearl Button Was Kidnapped".

Mansfield met fellow student Ida Baker at the college, and they became lifelong friends. They both adopted their mother's maiden names for professional purposes, and Baker became known as LM or Lesley Moore, adopting the name of Lesley in honour of Mansfield's younger brother, Leslie.

After Mansfield had a brief reunion with Garnet, Mansfield's mother, Annie Beauchamp, arrived in 1909. She blamed the breakdown of the marriage to Bowden on a lesbian relationship between Mansfield and Baker, and she quickly had her daughter dispatched to the spa town of Bad Wörishofen in Bavaria, Germany, where Mansfield miscarried. It is not known whether her mother knew of this miscarriage when she left shortly after arriving in Germany, but she cut Mansfield out of her will.

Mansfield was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis in 1917 and she died in France aged 34.

Books by Katherine Mansfield

The Garden Party Cover image

The Garden Party

Short Story Society

"The Garden Party" is a 1922 short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published (as "The Garden-Party") in three parts in the Saturday Westminster Gazette on 4 and 11 February 1922, and the Weekly Westminster Gazette on 18 February 1922. It l...

Prelude Cover image


Short Story Freedom Isolation Feminism

Prelude is a short story by Katherine Mansfield. It was first published by the Hogarth Press in July 1918, after Virginia Woolf encouraged her to finish the story. Mansfield had begun writing Prelude in the midst of a love affair she had in Paris in...

In a German Pension Cover image

In a German Pension

Short Story Culture Literary Collections Relationships Human Nature Germany Introspection Human Emotions Boarding House

It is a captivating collection of short stories that provides a glimpse into the lives of various characters residing in a German boarding house. Written by the renowned author Katherine Mansfield, the book offers an exploration of human emotions and...

Bliss, and Other Stories Cover image

Bliss, and Other Stories

Short Story Self-Discovery Literary Fiction Empathy Psychological Intriguing Joys Sorrow

Step into the enchanting world of Katherine Mansfield's short stories, where beauty and complexity intertwine to create moments of profound reflection and human emotion. "Bliss, and Other Stories" is a captivating collection of short stories penned b...