Mansfield and Richardson: A Short Story Dialectic
There was a time, though I think that time is past, when a young girl's first public appearance at a ball was a very significant rite of passage. Stories which take this as their theme, written, as they usually are, by women, have an added interest to the feminist literary scholar. Two such stories are worth a comparative glance, not only for the view of life that each brings to bear on the event described, but for what one writer, Henry Handel Richardson in her story 'And Women Must Weep' does with the 'given' of an earlier story, Katherine Mansfield's 'Her First Ball'. Several contemporary reviewers noticed a generic resemblance between the two writers. There is however, a specific and more than accidental connection between Richardson's story and Mansfield's.
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Published 1 October 1983 in Volume 11 No. 2. Subjects: Australian literature - Comparisons with overseas literature, Literary influences, New Zealand literature & writers, Short stories, Henry Handel Richardson , Katherine Mansfield.