The correspondence of Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murry is a story in its own right, as compelling and poignant as any that Mansfield herself invented. Here, juxtaposed for the first time, are 300 letters exchanged between them during their extraordinary eleven-year relationship. The letters begin in January 1912, a month after their first meeting, when both were relative newcomers to the London literary scene; the last, a letter from Murry, was written four days before Katherine died, in Fontainebleau, in January 1923. The intervening years were ones of both feverish creativity and heartbreaking frustration; of intense closeness and unassailable distance; of shared idealism and, as Katherine's illness took its inexorable hold, of mutual recognition that the glittering partnership they'd once envisaged would be cut tragically short. Whether sparkling or witty, reflective or despairing, the letters have the immediacy of conversation and the candor of the very finest epistolary writing. They illustrate wonderfully the unique personal magnetism which has become part of the Mansfield legend, and indicate, too, that posterity has perhaps judged Murry more harshly than ever she did. As Katherine herself wrote: "I feel no other lovers have walked the earth more joyfully-in spite of all."
|Publisher:||Dee, Ivan R. Publisher|
|Product dimensions:||6.60(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.25(d)|
About the Author
Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) was born Kathleen Beauchamp in Wellington, New Zealand. She was educated at Queen's College, London, eventually settling in Britain in 1908. Her first volume of stories, In a German Pension, was published in 1911. In 1912 she met John Middleton Murry (1889-1957), then an Oxford undergraduate and editor of the modernist periodical Rhythm, and at her invitation he moved into her London flat. They became lovers (marrying in 1918), and together they edited the periodical until its collapse in 1913. Their relationship was stormy, alternating between intense love and virtual estrangement, and it was frequently punctuated by separations. At the request of Murry's friend, D.H. Lawrence, they spent some time living near the Lawrences in Cornwall, but relations became strained and Lawrence later portrayed Katherine and Murry as Gudrun and Gerald in his novel, Women in Love. In 1917 Katherine contracted tuberculosis and spent the remaining years of her life moving between London and France. During this period she was accompanied always by her lifelong friend Ida Baker (L.M.), or by Murry, who from 1919 to 1921 was editor of the Athenaeum, in which he published such fine writers as Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, Paul Valery and Katherine herself. A further collection of Katherine's stories, Bliss, was published in December 1920. But her health was deteriorating, and the following year she traveled to Switzerland, where she lived near her cousin, the novelist Elizabeth von Arnim. Finally, Katherine turned to the philosophy of Gurdjieff, entering the Gurdjieff Institute in Fontainebleau in 1922, the year she published The Garden Party. On December 31 she wrote to Murry, asking him to visit her; he arrived on January 9, and she died that evening. A year after Katherine's death, Murry founded the Adelphi, and though he married again three times, remained dedicated to the publication of Katherine Mansfield's works. Two collections of stories, The Doves' N