Title: Heart of Flame Katherine Mansfields Flowers & Trees
Author: Beverley Randell
Publication date: 24/08/2020
Imprint: STEELE ROBERTS
Katherine Mansfield adored
the natural world flowers, trees
I had so many flowers when I was little, I got to know them so well
that they are simply the breath of life to me. Its no ordinary love; its a passion.
This passion shines through her stories, poems and letters. The characters in Prelude
keep returning to the rambling garden; Taking the Veil is underpinned by a delight
in spring; the pear tree in blossom is a symbol for the title Bliss; the single flower in
Carnation shapes the story. Flowers always mattered as she wrote in 1921:
I have planted out some of my petunias into a story so that they may live a little longer,
and now I am looking for a favourable corner for a whole blaze of nasturtiums.
Mansfield created hundreds of vivid and enduring images:
a clump of toetoe waving in the wind and looking for all the world
like a family of little girls drying their hair.
Very large astonished daisies are beginning to flower everywhere
There was a great cabbage tree growing in the front garden and the
shadow it cast on the front door was like a many-armed monster
Heart of Flame reveals the exuberance and originality of
Katherine Mansfields words, and Jenni Shoesmiths lively and
lifelike illustrations make it easy to identify the plants
she loved so much.
Compiler Beverley Randell is a Wellington writer.
Artist Jenni Shoesmith came to Wellington from England in 2009.