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Five stories from influential women writers of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. New Zealand-born Katherine Mansfield settled in England where she wrote a series of short stories that are widely recognised as among the finest of the twentieth century for their economy, clarity, sensitivity and effect. ‘The Garden Party’ is one of her most famous, while ‘Daughters of the Late Colonel’ shows a wonderful sense of wit. Kate Chopin, writing in the last years of the nineteenth century, broke new ground with her daring view of women as individuals with human needs. ‘Lilacs’ and ‘Ma’ame Pelagie’ are sympathetic portraits of women with differing dilemmas. Woolf’s ‘A Mark on the Wall’ shows, in short story form, the turmoil within the stillness which became such a mark of her later novels.
Katherine Mansfield: The Garden Party
'And after all the weather was ideal.'
'She was still, listening.'
'Sadie brought them in and went back to the door.'
'Lunch was over by half-past one.'
'It was growing dusky...'
Katherine Mansfield: The Daughters of the Late Colonel
'The week after was one of the busiest of their lives.'
'Another thing which complicated matters...'
'But after all, it was not long now...'
'Well, at any rate, all that part of it was over.'
'But the strain told on them when they were back in the dining room.'
'Josephine made no reply.'
'They were interrupted by Kate...'
'But at that moment in the street...'
'Some little sparrows, young sparrow...'
Kate Chopin: Ma'ame Pelagie
'When the war began...'
'La Petite had determined upon trying to fit herself...'
'Ma'ame Pelagie, when she saw that her sister slept...'
'Little more than a year later...'
Kate Chopin: Lilacs
'Mme Adrienne Farival never announced her coming.'
'They lingered long upon the foot-bridge...'
'Yes, Adrienne was at home. Paris had engulfed her.'
'It was precisely a year later.'
Virginia Woolf: The Mark on the Wall
'Perhaps it was the middle of January...'
'In certain lights that mark on the wall seems actually to project from the wall.'