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Home » Authors » Katherine Mansfield

About Katherine Mansfield

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 a lonely and alienated childhood. Her first published stories appeared in the High School Reporter and the Wellington Girls' High School magazine, in 1898 and 1899. She moved to London in 1902, where she attended Queen's College, London. A talented cellist, she was not at first attracted to literature, and after finishing her schooling in England, she returned to her New Zealand home in 1906. It was upon her return to New Zealand that Kathleen Beauchamp began writing short stories. Weary of the provincial New Zealand lifestyle, Beauchamp returned to London two years later in 1908.

Katherine Mansfield audio book downloads:

The Garden Party and Other Stories Audiobook

The Garden Party and Other Stories Audiobook
Written by Katherine Mansfield
Read by Lindsay Duncan

The Garden Party, read in this unabridged audio book by the great English actress Lindsay Duncan,  has often been held up as an example of the near perfect short story.

Virginia Woolf once said that Katherine Mansfield’s was “the only writing I have ever been jealous of”.  Mansfield’s short stories are some of the best examples of this fiendishly difficult from of literature.  Her style, with its seemingly haphazard stream of consciousness and deliciously funny surprises follows directly from that of Anton Chekhov, whose stories she admired greatly, but her own stories were to become just as influential in the formation of the genre.

The acerbic and startlingly accurate snippets of people’s lives that Mansfield shows us in these stories have many resonances in her own life.  Although a central member of the exciting and extraordinary Bloomsbury set at the turn of the twentieth century, Mansfield was born and brought up in New Zealand and The Garden Party first published in 1923, harks back to her time in Wellington with her socially ambitious parents and the society that surrounded them.  At The Bay follows this train of inspiration with Mansfield’s childhood beach home providing the back drop for this icy little number.  The Daughters of the Late Colonel with its exquisite and agonisingly wicked descriptions of the “old tabbies” dining off their terrified white blancmange, was the only story Mansfield ever professed herself satisfied with – “to any extent”.  The nail biting tension in Mr Hammond’s jealous insecurity about his oh-so popular wife in The Stranger reveals a side of Mansfield which must have made her somewhat varied sex life rather harder than it appeared.

These are a collection of wonderfully vicious portraits and seriously infectious emotions.

Download The Garden Party audiobook from Silksoundbooks today!

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