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Selected Poetry of Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)


from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

But then there comes that moment rare
When, for no cause that I can find,
The little voices of the air
Sound above all the sea and wind.
        (Voices of the Air, 1-4)
  1. Countrywomen
  2. A Few Rules for Beginners
  3. Voices of the Air


Notes on Life and Works

Short-story writer and poet, Katherine Mansfield, a pseudonym for Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp (from 1910), was born on October 14, 1888, in Wellington, New Zealand. She was educated in the cello at Queen's College, London, 1903-1906, after which she returned to study music in New Zealand 1907-08. She came back to London in 1908, married George Bowden (a musician), March 2, 1909, separated from him the same day, and afterwards gave birth in Bavaria to a stillborn baby by Garnet Trowell, another musician. This led to her first volume of fiction, In a German Pension (1909). Her life was a train of hardships. Suffering from gonorrhea, she was unable to have children afterwards. Being bisexual, she had a long-term liaison with Ida Baker, but after meeting John Middleton Murry in 1911, they lived together until she divorced Bowden and married Murry on May 3, 1918. Mansfield lost Lesley Heron Beauchamp, her brother, to a wartime accident in 1915. This death led to some of her greatest stories. With Murry, she co-founded a short-lived magazine, Signature, with D. H. Lawrence in 1916. Suffering from tuberculosis, she entered George Gurdieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man near Fontainebleau and died from the disease in January 9, 1923.

Biographical information

Given name: Katherine
Family name: Mansfield
Birth date: 14 October 1888
Death date: 17 October 1923
Nationality: New Zealander
Literary period: modern
Illness: Consumption: 1915
Cause of death: Consumption