The compelling, intimate, and often controversial, story of Katherine Mansfield -- one of the world's greatest short story writers – the only writer Virginia Woolf confessed to being afraid of. Kathleen Jones has been the beneficiary of a mass of previously unavailable material relating to Mansfield and her husband John Middleton Murry. Weaving together intimate details from Katherine Mansfield's letters and journals with the writings of her friends and acquaintances, Jones vividly evokes the tragic, but courageous, drama of this fragile yet feisty author: her life, loves and her passion for writing. The biography takes us beyond Mansfield's death in 1923 to explore the life of her husband, John Middleton Murry -- and his relationship with three further wives -- as he manipulated the posthumous publication of Mansfield's unpublished work. In this vivid portrayal of one of the world's foremost short story writers, the first new biography for a quarter of a century, Kathleen Jones crafts an intriguing narrative of Katherine Mansfield's relationships, health issues and creativity.
‘I read it with huge enjoyment - I think it's by far the best Katherine Mansfield biography yet - giving a truthful but still sympathetic portrait.’ --Jacqueline Wilson, novelist & patron of the Katherine Mansfield Society
‘A marvellous, innovative biography - Kathleen Jones conveys the living presence of Katherine Mansfield in the present tense, so that one feels . . . her continued presence. She conveys the full complexity of Mansfield's character with understanding and without bias . . . What Middleton Murry made of her has a parallel fascination; the contrasts of the living reality and the purified legend, an ephemeral construct appropriately narrated in the past tense, were striking.’ --Lyndall Gordon, biographer
‘A compelling narrative of a writer's passion for her work, her growth to maturity and the extraordinary trajectory which took a plump, awkward, rebellious little girl from a rigidly conventional family halfway across the world and into a culture of artistic, social and sexual experimentation.’ --Helen Dunmore, novelist
- Kathleen Jones, January 2013
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