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The Montana Stories

by Katherine Mansfield
Persephone book no:

24 25 26

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A Well Full of Leaves
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ISBN 9781903155158

In 1921 Katherine Mansfield came to Switzerland, to live at the Chalet des Sapins in Montana; she was 32 and seriously ill with tuberculosis, but the next few months were to be the most fruitful of her life - she did not have much time left to her. The Montana Stories contains all the short stories she wrote between July of that year and her death in January 1923.

These short stories have never before been published together with unfinished fragments and extracts from the Letters and Journals from those months, and new and detailed editorial notes; nor have the original illustrations that accompanied the stories' first magazine publication been previously reprinted. But by reading everything in strictly chronological order the reader understands the way a writer of genius forced herself on during this astonishingly creative period.

The critic John Carey chose Katherine Mansfield's short stories as one of his favourite books of the last century: 'Nearly half are set in the New Zealand of her childhood... Though death intrudes in almost every story, melancholy is debarred. The focus is on those starting life, not ending it.'


The fabric is 'Stems and looping tendrils with harebells', designed in 1921 by Constance Irving. We chose it because the delicate blue harebells could be the gentians growing in the mountains; although the background is sombre, the flowers are both pretty and sophisticated.

Picture Caption

Chalet des Sapins, Montana, in 1913; Katherine Mansfield lived on the top floor.

Read What Readers Say

poems_by_lauren via Instagram

I absolutely loved it! A lot of the stories are unfinished which was at times frustrating when i was very invested in the plot, but was also really fascinating to be able to see the process of writing in its unfinished stage.

TL, St Leonards on Sea

Thank you for publishing 'The Montana Stories’. I can understand the worry of a great writer that unfinished ‘unpolished’ pieces were presented. But if there is another life after this one, I can’t believe a genius of the stature of Mansfield would grudge her thirsty readers such amazing and masterful glimpses. Some seem finished – though obviously KM would not think so – but they work, conveying all sorts of deep emotion and debate.

Categories: Bloomsbury Short Stories

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