Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp Murry was a prominent modernist writer of short fiction who was born and brought up in colonial New Zealand and wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield. Her first published stories appeared in the High School Reporter and the Wellington Girls' High School magazine in 1898 and 1899.  She became enamoured with a cellist, Arnold Trowell (Mansfield herself was an accomplished cellist, having received lessons from Trowell's father), in 1902, although the feelings were largely unreciprocated. Mansfield wrote, in her journals, of feeling alienated to some extent in New Zealand.

Mansfield left for Great Britain when she was 19 where she encountered Modernist writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf with whom she became close friends. Her stories often focus on moments of disruption and frequently open rather abruptly. Among her best-known stories are "The Garden Party", "The Daughters of the Late Colonel" and "The Fly". During the First World War Mansfield contracted extrapulmonary tuberculosis, which rendered any return or visit to New Zealand impossible and led to her death at the age of 34.

Katherine Mansfield

 
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