Katherine Mansfield


Katherine Mansfield
Katherine Mansfield, who lived from 1888 to 1923, is considered to be one of the most remarkable short story writers of her time. Using her life experiences as an inspiration for her short stories, Mansfield sculpted her ideas into masterful pieces of literary work. Mansfield's life was full of interesting experiences that shaped her outlook upon life. The diversity of friends and acquaintances Katherine Mansfield had over her lifetime also had a great influence on her career. Even as a child, Mansfield made decisions about her life that would create a path for her career to start on.
Katherine Mansfield was born Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp to Harold and Annie Dyer Beauchamp on October 14, 1888. The Beauchamp family called New Zealand their home. A Sea Voyage, written by the young Kathleen Beauchamp, won first-place at the Karori Village School, the grammar school she first attended (Nathan 1). This accomplishment encouraged young Beauchamp to continue on writing. After attending grammar school, Kathleen went on to attend Miss Swainson's Secondary School. During this time, she is acquainted with Maata Mahupuka, a native Maori. Her interest in Mahupuka later grew into a brief love affair with him (Nathan 1). After graduating from secondary school, Miss Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp left New Zealand. She decided this after thwarting the idea of a career in music. Beauchamp went on to attend London's Queens College and study literature. While in attendance at Queens College, Kathleen made a friend in Ida Baker. Ida Baker, like Beauchamp, was an avid writer. Kathleen gave the pen name Lesley Moore to Ida, after Beauchamp's brother Lesley (Sampson 308). In the spring of 1907, Miss Beauchamp held in garden party and invited many of her acquaintances from college. The party was a complete success until it was discovered that a cottager who lived on the property had been accidentally killed (Nathan 1). This event spawned to become The Garden Party, Beauchamp's first major work (Encarta).
In 1909, Kathleen Beauchamp became acquainted with a man by the name of G. C. Bowden. After only a brief period they became engaged and married. The evening after their marriage, Kathleen left Bowden (Disc. Authors 1). Leaving Bowden, she ran away with her longtime friend Garnet Trowell. Trowell was from Wellington; she was a fairly well known cellist. While running away with Garnet Trowell, Kathleen had an affair with a man who ultimately impregnates her. When Kathleen finally discovered this pregnancy, she returned to her mother for support. Trying to remove Kathleen from the distractions of everyday life, Kathleen's mother took her to Bad Worishofen, Bavaria to await the pregnancy (Nathan 1). In June of 1909, Kathleen had a miscarriage. While awaiting the birth of her child, Kathleen wrote stories and drew sketches related to her experiences of Bavaria (Disc. Authors 1). She wrote most of her work in her room at the Hotel Kreuzer (Nathan 1).
After battling through difficult times, Beauchamp made many changes in her life. Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp began using the name Katherine Mansfield exclusively starting in 1910 (Nathan 1). Steven Swift, a fairly well known publisher at the time, published the first copies of Mansfield's In a German Pension (Baugh 287). It was originally advertised as a six-schilling novel (Baugh 287). Only a short time after the initial publication, Swift added the work onto his list of Books that Compel (Sampson 308). During this time, Katherine Mansfield made an acquaintance with an important person. J. Middleton Murry was the editor of Rhyme magazine. Katherine met Murry for the first time when he was twenty-two while working in the same town (Nathan 1). J. Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield became closer and their personal relationship grew. Eventually, Murry moved in with Katherine at her London apartment and they soon became lovers. John Middleton Murry and Katherine Beauchamp Mansfield were married on May 3, 1918. This move was made in an act of convenience as well as love, considering Murry was an editor of a magazine that also published short stories. After her marriage to Murry in May of 1918, Katherine went right back to work. In August of the same year, she published the short story Bliss in the English Review (Nathan 1).
In early 1918, Mansfield was formally introduced to Virginia Woolf