Katherine Mansfield Additional Biography

Biography

For at least thirty years after her death, the public’s interest in Katherine Mansfield’s tragic, short life overshadowed what little critical attention her literary works attracted. Born to a large, upper-middle-class Wellington family, at age fourteen Mansfield traveled to England to attend Queen’s College. In England, her contemporaries viewed her as a colonial, and as a result, as somewhat of an outsider. Upon graduating at age eighteen, she returned to New Zealand, only to find that she was equally out of place in what she now viewed as a provincial and cultureless New Zealand. Her two-year stay in New Zealand did prove fruitful, however: During this time she developed a taste for the writings of Oscar Wilde and the other aesthetes, and she began to experiment with a series of pseudonyms, identities, and sexualities. She also traveled around New Zealand, collecting impressions of colonial and family life that would surface in her some of her best stories.

After returning to England, getting pregnant, suffering a miscarriage, and marrying and leaving a man she hardly knew, Mansfield began her career as a writer, publishing her first collection of stories, In a German Pension. The same year she met John Middleton Murry and embarked on a tempestuous romantic and literary relationship that would continue until her death. With Murry, Mansfield wrote for and helped edit Rhythm, The Signature, and The Athenaeum...

(The entire section is 440 words.)

Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Katherine Mansfield was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 14, 1888. During her life she used many names: her family called her “Kass,” and she took “Katherine Mansfield” as her name in 1910. Her father, Harold Beauchamp, was a businessman who rose to become chairman of the Bank of New Zealand. He was knighted in 1923.

In 1903, the Beauchamps sailed for London, where Kass enrolled at Queen’s College, a school for young women. She remained at Queen’s until 1906, reading authors such as the Irish novelist and playwright Oscar Wilde and the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen. She played the cello and published several stories in the college magazine. After her parents insisted that she come back to Wellington in 1906, she published her first stories in a newspaper. In 1908, when she was nineteen, she left New Zealand for London, never to return.

Her next decade was characterized by personal problems and artistic growth. She was sexually attracted both to women and to men. At Queen’s College, she met Ida Baker, who would become her friend and lifelong companion. After she returned to London, she fell in love with a violinist named Garnet Trowell, whom she had met in New Zealand. Then on March 2, 1909, she abruptly married a man she hardly knew, George C. Bowden, and just as abruptly left him. At her mother’s insistence, she traveled to Germany, where she suffered a miscarriage. The Bowdens were not divorced until April, 1918.

In Germany she met the Polish translator Floryan Sobieniowski. In the opinion of her biographer Claire Tomalin, it was his fault that she became infected with venereal disease. Mansfield would suffer from many medical problems for...

(The entire section is 710 words.)

Biography

(Masterpieces of World Literature, Critical Edition)

In her short stories, Katherine Mansfield exemplifies innovative literary techniques that have influenced many later short-story writers. Her stories do not depend upon showing a chain of actions or upon explanations by the author. Rather, they dramatize webs of personal thoughts and interrelationships and evoke these relationships in descriptive, suggestive, and even symbolic details. Her stories often lead the reader to moments of revelation. Her themes are those of her time and were also taken up by later writers: joy in beauty, yearnings for happiness (particularly by women), disappointment, callousness, and cruelty.

Biography

Katherine Mansfield Beauchamp was born to a wealthy family in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 14, 1888. She was educated in London and...

(The entire section is 462 words.)

Biography

Katherine Mansfield was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp in Wellington, New Zealand, October 14, 1888. She began writing at a young age, and...

(The entire section is 461 words.)

Biography

Katherine Mansfield Published by Gale Cengage

Katherine Mansfield was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp to a wealthy family in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 14, 1888. She was...

(The entire section is 464 words.)

Biography

Katherine Mansfield was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp to a wealthy family in Wellington, New Zealand, on October 14, 1888. She was...

(The entire section is 452 words.)