Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield

About Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield (14 Oct 1888 - 9 Jan 1923), pen name of Kathleen Mansfield Murry born Beauchamp, is a British writer and poet of New Zealand origin. Drawing inspiration as much from her family experiences as from her many travels, she contributed to the renewal of the modernist novel with her narratives and texts based on observation which were sometimes devoided of intrigue. With the help of her friend Ida Constance Baker (often named LM, acronym for Leslie Moore, in her Diary), Katherine Mansfield returned to England in July 1908 with the assurance of an annual pension that her father commits to pay her, which allows her to devote herself solely to writing. She then finds her friends the Trowell brothers. Although expecting a child from Garnet Trowell, she married George Bowden in 1909 only to leave him the same day (the divorce was granted in 1913). Revolted by the scandal and mistakenly suspecting her previous Sapphic relationships and the influence of Ida Baker as responsible for the failure of this marriage, her mother, Annie Beauchamp, tries in vain to make her return to Bowden, then she sends her to Bavaria, where Katherine miscarries while lifting a suitcase. It has not been determined if Annie Beauchamp was aware of her daughter's pregnancy and miscarriage, but upon returning from Europe to New Zealand, she disinherited her. In 1910, she returned to London, where her short stories were published in The New Age magazine. The collection of short stories inspired by her stay in Germany, In a German Pension, was published in 1911. That same year, Katherine met the literary critic John Middleton Murry, whom she married in 1918. She had meanwhile an affair with the French writer Francis Carco. Until 1914. Her short stories were published in Rhythm magazine and The Blue Review. Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry meet D. H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda, with whom they become friends. Lawrence portrays Katherine as Gudrun in Women in Love. Lawrence, Murry and Mansfield create Signature magazine. Mansfield and Murry lived in Hampstead, where today a commemorative plaque is on their home. The First World War marked a turning point in Katherine's life when her brother Leslie died in 1915. Her writings therefore turned more than ever to New Zealand, with more or less explicit links with her own family and her childhood. In 1916, Prelude was published. She then lives in Bandol in France. It was during a stay in England the following year that she met Virginia Woolf, with whom she was often compared, notably for their use of the Stream of Consciousness or inner monologue. Virginia Woolf will admit that she was jealous of only one writer, Katherine Mansfield.
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