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Katherine's Legacy

A Portrait of Katherine Mansfield

Katherine Mansfield's life and works have always fascinated New Zealanders. The documentary A Portrait of Katherine Mansfield: A Woman and a Writer is one of several that have been made about her life. It was released in 1986 and was directed by Julienne Stretton and produced by Sue Kedgley.

In this report originally broadcast on the news programme Today Tonight on 8 December 1986, the film makers talk about the project, particularly the difficulties of shooting in France in the aftermath of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior.

The documentary is available to view on NZ on Screen.

Collection reference P40372
Year 1986
Credits Reporter: Anna Symmans

Centenary Events

The centenary of Katherine Mansfield's birth in 1988 was widely celebrated in Wellington.

This report, broadcast on the news programme Today Tonight on 14 October 1988, details some of the events taking place around the city to mark the centenary.

Collection reference P49547
Year 1988
Credits Reporter: Bryn Somerville

25 Tinakori Road

The Beauchamp family moved into the new family home at 25 Tinakori Rd in Thorndon a few months prior to Katherine's birth. From 1888 to 1893, three generations of the family were resident: Grannie Dryer (KM's maternal grandmother); aunts Bell and Kitty; KM's parents and sisters Vera and Charlotte.

With the establishment of the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society in 1986, plans to buy and restore the house were soon articulated. The house was purchased in 1987 and a significant project was undertaken for its full restoration as it had changed substantially over the years. This news item, originally broadcast on Today Tonight on 18 November 1987, outlines restoration plans, along with plans for fundraising which would be essential for the success of the project. The restored house is listed as Category 1 on the Heritage New Zealand registry of Historic Places.

Learn more about the house where Katherine Mansfield was born.

Collection reference P44476
Year 1987
Credits Reporter: Carol Hirschfeld

Isola Bella

Since 1970, the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship has enabled a New Zealand creative writer to spend six months at Isola Bella, the villa in Menton, Southern France, where Katherine Mansfield stayed and worked in 1920.

This news report details plans of property dealer Daniel Anerdi to restore the villa and live in it himself! Throughout the item reporter Ross Stevens uncovers inconsistencies in Anerdi’s story and it becomes clear that the Katherine Mansfield Memorial Room belongs to the City of Menton and is safe.

The list of past Mansfield fellows reads like a "Who’s Who" of New Zealand writers, and each has benefited from the life-changing experience. As the then current fellow, Vincent O’Sullivan says “this isn’t a shrine, it’s a place to work. It gives New Zealand writers a chance to work seriously for six months in an enchanting environment. That’s a fitting memorial to Katherine Mansfield.”

Read more about the Villa Isola Bella.

Collection reference P145900
Year 1994
Credits Director: Peta Carey; Producer: Colin McRae; Reporter: Ross Stevens

Elizabeth Knox - Katherine Mansfield Fellow

Part of Katherine Mansfield’s legacy is the impact she has had on New Zealand authors. In a very practical sense the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship has enabled creative writers to spend six months writing in Menton in the south of France to develop their practise.

The list of authors awarded the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship reads like a "Who’s Who" of New Zealand literature, and has resulted in an impressive array of award-winning books.

In this news article originally broadcast on Tonight on 16 November 1998, author Elizabeth Knox is announced as the 1999 Katherine Mansfield Fellow. At the time, the future of the award seemed uncertain as ECNZ sponsorship was ending and new sponsors were yet to be found. The KM Menton Fellowship Trust has managed the Fellowship since its inception and in 2015 they decided to shift from relying on sponsorship, to instead establishing a permanent capital fund to secure the Fellowship indefinitely.

Read more about the Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship

Collection reference P206472
Year 1998
Credits Reporter: Mike Jaspers