Saturday, 15 December 2012

Katherine Mansfield in the Rain!

Some of you may have noticed that I've been away, but my friends across the Atlantic have been looking after my blog for me while I sneaked back to England for a couple of days.  Sadly, I came back with a sore throat and some horrid bug, so have been lying low until normal service could be resumed. 

England looked like this:-

and London was cold, with a bitter east wind.   I was there for a book launch at New Zealand House.  Edinburgh University Press (who published my Katherine Mansfield biog in the UK) were celebrating a new edition of Katherine Mansfield's stories.   It includes some new, previously unpublished stories, discovered in a King's College Archive, by a lucky young researcher.  One of them seems to relate to the period when the 19 year old Katherine, pregnant by a young musician who either couldn't or wouldn't, marry her, married her singing teacher and left him on their wedding night without explanation.

This edition is the first to include all KM's work, both published and unpublished, as she wrote it (ie not edited by her husband afterwards) and in chronological order, so that you can see her development as a writer.  It's a fantastic work of scholarship by the UK's Gerri Kimber, who fronts the Katherine Mansfield Society, and by New Zealand scholar - a poet and writer in his own right - Vincent O'Sullivan.  Vincent couldn't be there, but Gerri was on fine form.   Here's the two of us - I'm the one looking jet-lagged (airport at 4am!) and Gerri's the one with the bling!

It was a good party - my publisher Jackie Jones and Clare from Edinburgh UP were both there making sure that we all got enough of the New Zealand pink fizz.

NZ poet Fleur Adcock was there - that's Fleur in the middle.

And another KM fan, Margaret Drabble, with friends.
NZ poet Jan Kemp was also there - having flown over from Germany for the event.
New Zealand House is near Trafalgar Square and the views of London from the Penthouse suite are breath-taking - but not for anyone suffering from vertigo!  You can see the Shard on the horizon towards the right, and just pick out the dome of St Paul's, dwarfed by high rise blocks, to left of centre. Nelson's column and the top of the Trafalgar Sq Christmas tree are in the centre, with the National Portrait Gallery on the left.


Thanks to Gerri and everyone for a lovely time.  Pity the books are so expensive, but small university presses simply don't have the funds to publish at a discount.   My own Katherine Mansfield biography 'The Story-teller', will be out as an e-book just before Christmas, in time for the 90th anniversary of her tragic, early death at Fontainebleau.  If anyone would like to review it, I've got a few copies to give away either as Kindle or E-pub.



3 comments:

  1. Hi Kathleen, I have been planning to reread your great book and would love a kindle edition. I will review the book a second time. It is a shame the new volumes are so expensive. Do they include all of her book reviews and her nonfiction.?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mel - I'll make sure you get an e-copy. The Edin burgh volumes only contain her fiction, but two new volumes are under way containing all her notebooks - transcribed in chronological order - her book reviews and non-fiction. They're being edited by Gerri Kimber and Angela Smith. Eventually there will be everything - great for uni libraries, but unaffordable for us I'm afraid!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like a great time was had by all. Although given your jet-lag that might be debatable.
    I love the piccie of the winter trees through the rainy glass.

    ReplyDelete