Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gerri Kimber, Todd Martin, and Christine Froula

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439657

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439657.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Katherine’s Secrets

Katherine’s Secrets

(p.55) Katherine’s Secrets
Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf

Christine Froula

Edinburgh University Press

When Mansfield offered Woolf ‘scrupulously truthful’ friendship – ‘the freedom of the city without any reserves at all’ – Woolf had already playfully described her as ‘utterly unscrupulous’. Attacking ‘the same job’ of creating a new postwar aesthetics, they shared ‘priceless talk’ about their ‘precious art’ even as their friendship foundered in distance, absence, ‘quicksands’ of insincerity, misunderstandings, secrets, silences – reserves of all sorts. This essay considers this competitive, irreplaceable literary friendship through the veil of Katherine’s secrets, things we see that Virginia evidently couldn’t, or could see only after Mansfield’s death: Mansfield’s 1919 letters about Night and Day; her ‘doubtful’ unsigned 1920 review of it, ‘A Tragic Comedienne’; her 1915 war story, ‘An Indiscreet Journey’, unpublished until after her death, and its resonances with Colette’s war journalism; the open secrets of her posthumously published Doves’ Nest and Journal, which flow into Woolf’s creation of The Waves. Whether Mansfield’s mercurial ‘we’ voices their ‘public of two’, her exclusive alliance with Murry against Bloomsbury, or their postwar generation’s ‘change of heart’, her work, talk, and thought participate in – and even inspire – that ‘thinking in common’ Woolf theorises in A Room of One’s Own and abstracts as ‘the life of anybody’ in The Waves.

Keywords:   Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Colette, women modernists, ‘An Indiscreet Journey’, World War One, literary friendship, literary influence

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.