Author(s): Julie Kennedy
Katherine Mansfield, at 19 and 'bored with Wellington', left New Zealand to be a writer. She never returned. Shortly before her death at 34 in 1923, she wrote (in a story fragment): 'It was one of those days so clear, so still, so silent you almost feel the earth itself has stopped in astonishment at its own beauty.' The setting, though unnamed, is almost certainly the Marlborough Sounds. Katherine Mansfield first made the Wellington-Picton crossing to the Marlborough Sounds when she was six months old. The area helped form her, and its images appeared in her letters and stories throughout her life. Her story The Voyage is included here. Previously unpublished material appears in Katherine Mansfield in Picton. It quotes extensively from Mansfield and her relatives, and traces the links she and her family had with the Sounds. Featured family are her grandparents, Arthur and Mary Beauchamp, one-time residents of Picton, and her great uncle Cradock Beauchamp, who farmed the land at the head of Queen Charlotte Sound where the Cobham Outward Bound School now stands.