In a German Pension


In a German Pension is a 1911 collection of short stories by the writer Katherine Mansfield; her first published collection. All but three of the stories were originally published in The New Age edited by A. R. Orage; the first to appear was "The Child-Who-Was-Tired". The last three were first published in this collection, and Alpers thinks that two (The Swing of the Pendulum and The Blaze) were probably rejected by Orage for The New Age.The collection was originally published in December 1911 by Stephen Swift & Co Ltd; the imprint of Charles Granville the publisher of Rhythm. The first impression of probably 500 copies was followed by two more impressions of 500 copies in January and in May or June 1912. In early October 1912 Granville absconded to Algiers, and his firm was liquidated. A story that copies for America went down with the Titanic in April 1912 is probably not true.Mansfield refused permission for a reprint of the collection in 1920, both as they were juvenilia and they could contribute to post-war jingoism. In 1926 after her death her husband John Middleton Murry reprinted them. Alpers says that Mansfield is famous for just two books .... an earlier one being happily forgotten; the two books being Bliss and Other Stories and The Garden Party.The stories were written after her stay in Bad Wörishofen, a German spa town in 1909, where she was taken by her mother after her disastrous marriage, pregnancy and miscarriage. Some reflect the coarse habits and arrogance of Germans, and some refer to the exploitation and repression of women by men."A Birthday" has a man (based on her father) waiting for his wife to give birth; he mutters Everything here's filthy, the whole place might be down with the plague .. The setting is identifiable as turn-of-the-century Thorndon when it was an unhealthy hole from the mid-1880s because of poor sewage rather than the setting for grand residences and society balls as in her later stories. The Beauchamp family moved to rural Karori in 1893.
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date of publication: 1911

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