Mansfield, Katherine

BORN 14 Oct 1888, Wellington - DIED 9 Jan 1923, Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne
BIRTH NAME Beauchamp, Kathleen Mansfield
CAUSE OF DEATH tuberculosis
GRAVE LOCATION Avon, Seine-et-Marne: Cimetière

Katherine Mansfield was the daughter of Harold Beauchamp, who became the chairman of the Bank of New Zealand. In 1893 the family moved from Thorndon to Karori where she spent part of her childhood. At school she wrote her first stories and in 1900 her story "His Little Friend" was published in New Zealand Graphic and Ladies Journal. She played the cello herself and in 1902 she fell in love with the cellist Arnold Trowell. He hardly returned her feelings.

In 1903 she went to London where she attended Queen's College with her sisters. She became the editor of the college newspaper and was highly interested in the work of the French symbolists and of Oscar Wilde. At college she met Ida Baker who became a lifelong friend. Between 1903 and 1906 she travelled in Belgium and Germany. After her return to New Zealand she decided to become a professional writer and in 1908 she returned to London.

She led a bohemian life and started an affair with Arnold Trowell's brother Garnet. After they broke up she immediately married the singing teacher George Bowden on 2 March 1909, but she left him on the evening after the wedding and before it was consummated. Her mother arrived in England and sent her to Bavaria, where she miscarried. In Germany she was influenced by the work of Anton Chekhov. She returned to London in 1910 and in 1911 her collection of stories "In a German Pension" was published.

In 1911 she started a relationship with John Middleton Murry, the editor of the magazine "Rhythm". She left him several times. In 1917 Ida Baker moved in with her. Later that year she was diagnosed with tuberculosis. In 1918 she finally divorced Bowden and she married Murray. They parted two weeks later and she during the winter of 1818-1819 she was in San Remo with Ida. Her "The Man Without a Temperament" (1920) was inspired by her marriage. In 1922 she published another collection of stories, "The Garden Party".

Her health detoriated seriously and in 1922 she moved to Georges Gurdjieff's institute in Fontainebleau where Olgivanna Lazovitch Hinzenburg took care of her. She died early in 1923 from a pulmonary haemorrhage and was buried at the cemetery in Avon near Fontainebleau.

Related persons
• knew Gurdjieff, George


The grave of Katherine Mansfield at the cemetery of Avon, Seine-et-Marne.
Picture by Androom (01 Nov 2019)


• Crawford, Anne and others, The Europa Biographical Dictionary of British Women, Europa Publications Ltd, London, 1983
Katherine Mansfield - Wikipedia

Manzel, Ludwig

Published: 17 Nov 2019
Last update: 17 Nov 2019