Peter Wells reviews Katherine Mansfield’s The Urewera Notebook, edited by Anna Plumridge.
Katherine Mansfield as she later became was always a master of disguise.
She fast-forwarded through personae – trying on personalities – the vamp – the aesthete – the slut – the Bloomsbury wicked wit – the suffering tubercular woman facing death.
Sexually she had the same transience as she went from teenage lesbian love with a young Maori woman – promiscuous heterosexuality which landed her with gonorrhoea before finally settling on a strategic heterosexual marriage with a husband in another country and a lesbian love slave in the same room.
She was a lot of things to a lot of people – not least to herself.