2: The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume Two: 1918-September 1919

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9780198126140: 2: The Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield: Volume Two: 1918-September 1919

Volume II of the five-volume Collected Letters begins with Mansfield's stay at Bandol in the early months of 1918 and follows her until she leaves for the Continent in September 1919. This volume, like the first, demonstrates her brilliance as a correspondent--her wit as well as her warmth, her deftness in conveying places and personalities, the vitality of her tastes and enthusiasms--and it also reveals the wide swings and dark alternations of her moods. The letters here are dominated by her love for Middleton Murry, her response to the First World War, and the ways in which she accepted the inevitable advance of her tuberculosis. They are as courageous as they are frank, and shot through with the intelligence and flair that would prompt Virginia Woolf, a few years later, to write that with Mansfield's death she had lost her greatest rival, and the person whose literary opinion she most valued.

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Review:


"By the time of this second volume Mansfield is writing as a serious author and mature woman and the style of her letters is formed--fluent, intimate, evocative."--Times Literary Supplement


"Essential reading for anyone interested in twentieth-century literature."--Booklist


"Her comments on these [literary] gatherings range, though not far, from caustic to bitchy, and are most enjoyable...we get, and it is impressive, a vision of a true writer for whom work was both life and salvation."--Sunday Telegraph


"These are harrowing letters. But they are not in the end discouraging. The narrowness of the sick room did not so much contract as enlarge Mansfield's inner world. As her body lowered its defences, so in a sense did her imagination."--Observer


"Mansfield's letters...are among the most memorable correspondence by any literary figure--intimate, witty, frank, revealing, and pungent. Absorbingly interesting in themselves, they also illuminate her short stories by disclosing her artistic concerns and her struggle to perfect herself as a writer and a human being....O'Sullivan's introduction offers a useful perspective on Mansfield's life which...is emblematic of a "certain kind of twentieth-century woman"....A compact, representative selection which provides a panoramic view of the primary events and concerns of Mansfield's life....Previews the most important and interesting of the late letters."--English Literature in Transition 1880-1920


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