This 19th-century writer’s work and life are both intangible and hard to grasp. They are witty, brave, argumentative, and strong-willed. Katherine Mansfield was one of the most interesting modernist writers of her time. She has been a source of inspiration for many of her fellow writers and a source of anger for those who haven’t done as well in the “short-story” genre as she has. Her books became so popular that writers like Christopher Isherwood and Aldous Huxley started using her themes and characters in their own plots and stories. The short stories “The Woman at the Store,” “A Dill Pickle,” “Je ne parle pas français,” “Bliss,” “The Stranger,” and “The Canary” are her best-known works. Aside from being a writer, she was openly bisexual and had a lot of sexual partners. This was part of what brought her down and made her career sometimes stop moving forward. Her free-spirited but scandalous relationships with both men and women put a lot at risk for her career and caused her a lot of trouble in her life. She had a huge impact on the writers of the 20th century because she was always trying to explore new ideas through her writing by using more words. Writing became her main way to talk about her thoughts and feelings. It also gave her a sense of personal freedom, which was something she always seemed to long for. Keep reading to find out more about this interesting person.
Early years and childhood
Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp was born in Wellington, New Zealand, to a wealthy family. Harold Beauchamp was a banker and the head of the Bank of New Zealand. She was the third of his five children.
She first put her stories in the Wellington Girls’ High School magazine and the High School Reporter.
She was unhappy with her childhood, so she started writing stories about her time in New Zealand and her thoughts on how Maori people were treated. Then, in 1903, she moved to London and went to Queen’s College.
Here, she learned to play the cello and sometimes started writing for the school newspaper. She went on a tour of Europe from 1903 to 1906, and Germany and Belgium were her favorite places.
After she graduated, she went back to New Zealand. I began writing short stories in 1906.
Katherine Mansfield’s Career
She got some of her stories and articles published in “Native Companion,” an Australian magazine. This was her first time writing for money, and it was also the first time she wrote under the name “K. Mansfield.”
She went back to London in 1908 and got into a troubled relationship, which put a short hold on her career. She got pregnant and had a daughter around this time in Bavaria, Germany, a place that had a big impact on her writing.
She wrote about what she did in Germany in a book called “In a German Pension,” which came out in 1911.
Around this time, she was influenced by Fauvism, and she wrote a short story called “The Woman at the Store.” It was published in a magazine called “Rhythm,” which was not like other magazines.
After she got married, she moved to Paris in 1914 with her new husband to find new ideas for her works.
Here, she only wrote one short story called “Something Childish But Very Natural.” It was written in 1914, but it wasn’t published until after she had died. She was told to go back to London, where she was told she was out of money.
During her time in Paris, she fell in love with a writer named Francis Carco. This relationship led her to write “An Indiscreet Journey,” which came out in 1920. But after her younger brother Leslie Beauchamp died, her writing style and themes changed.
In 1916, when she was at her most productive, she started writing many stories, such as “Mr. Reginald Peacock’s Day,” “A Dill Pickle,” and “Prelude.”
Even though she was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1917, she kept writing short stories like “Je ne parle pas français” and “The Man Without a Temperament.”
After she and her husband broke up, a book of her short stories, including “Bliss” and “The Garden Party,” came out. By the end of her life, she had written a very large amount of work, but most of it had never been published.
Works of note
“An Indiscreet Journey,” which came out in 1920, is thought to be one of her best works because it tells about her wartime experiences and her relationship with her French lover while she was in France. The short story was written in a typical modernist style and first appeared in the Athenaeum. It was later reprinted in a book called “Bliss and Other Stories.”
The popular ones are “At the Bay,” “Mr. and Mrs. Dove,” “The Voyage,” “Her First Ball,” and “The Stranger.” They are all in “The Garden Party: and Other Stories,” a collection of her short stories that came out in 1922. This is thought to be one of her most important works because most of the stories in it have free-spirited, modernist themes, which were uncommon in her time.
Personal History and Legacies
When she was 19 and living in England, she met Garnet Trowell and fell in love with him. They had a child together. Then she got married quickly to George Bowden, who was her singing teacher and then left him. All of this happened within seven months of her arrival.
She then had her baby in Germany, where she also fell in love with Floryan, a Polish writer. It is thought that she lost one of her fallopian tubes and had a miscarriage because of a possible ectopic pregnancy around this time.
She had many affairs with many men, and Maata Mahupaku and Edith Kathleen Bendall are thought to have been in two lesbian relationships with her.
Her last years were hard and full of pain. She went to a doctor, Ivan Manoukhin, for help with her tuberculosis. After that, she moved to France. When she was climbing the stairs one bad day, she had a pulmonary hemorrhage, which caused her to die at the age of 34.
Today, a house at Rangitoto College, Mount Roskill Grammar School, and Westlake Girls’ High School is named after her. There have also been a number of movies about her life, such as “Leave All Fair,” “Bliss,” and “A Picture of Katherine Mansfield.”
“Katherine Mansfield: The Story-Teller,” a biography written by Kathleen Jones, came out in 2010.
Estimated Net worth
This New Zealander who wrote “A Dill Pickle” could also play the cello well.