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Miss Brill

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  673 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The story is about Miss Brill, a middle-aged English teacher in an unnamed French vacation town. It follows her on a regular Sunday afternoon in the park, which she spends walking and sitting in the park, wearing an old but beloved fur. She sees the world as if it were a stage, and enjoys watching the people around her, often judging them condescendingly. However, she then ...more
40 pages
Published (first published 1920)
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Community Reviews

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Petra X
May 05, 2015 Petra X rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Pride comes before a fall, or so the saying goes. Miss Brill, the pompous and condescending old lady finds this out when she is seen as one of those weirdo eccentrics who sit in the park and talk to themselves. And she suddenly realises her place in the world.

Good story, well told, very sad. I hope it doesn't happen to me.
Bookworm Sean
Whilst I enjoyed the short stories in here, I was surprised that Bliss wasn’t included. It is her most renowned short story and, perhaps, her best one because it shows us the power of an unreliable narrator in a memorable way. I don’t think this edition is very helpful to those looking for an introduction to Mansfield, I’d recommend starting with Bliss.

The main story in here is called Miss Brill, and the character, Miss Brill, has built herself a little bubble to protect herself from reality;
It's difficult for me to describe why I love Katherine Mansfield's short stories so much. Their vibrations fit my vibrations. This story has a simple premise, one identifiable character (Miss Brill), in a park setting, for one short afternoon. Yet Mansfield, in a few short pages bares the soul of this woman. Miss Brill is the Eleanor Rigby of short stories.
Oct 11, 2012 Avalon rated it liked it
I liked this story because it reminded me of myself. Not because of the fur or she lives through others,but because she likes to watch others and comment on them and even create stories about them when she does not know what is going on in their lives. The ending was very sad though because that rude boy made Miss Brill think she was unloved and sent her home crying. I mean, she wasn't hurting anyone by watching them and creating her fantasies, it just made her happy.
Liz Janet
Update January 2016
Review: 10 Penguin Little Black Classics #3

The main story here is the story of a lady that spends her time listening into people’s conversations as she sits in the park, and then she begins creating her own imaginary world as her loneliness becomes more evident. In the end, it is a tale of isolation, and it made me quite sad to think of poor Miss Brill in her bench, and how some people in the story make fun of her. Karma is not nice.
Jul 27, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
This was my first taste of Katherine Mansfield, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book contains three of her stories - Marriage à La Mode, Miss Brill, and The Stranger.

Out of the three, Marriage à La Mode was my absolute favourite. I found it cutting and funny, and a great comment on society and personal identity. It was an incredibly clever story, and one I would highly recommend everyone check out. Miss Brill, the title story, was sweet but ultimately quite sad, and the final story The Strange
Tamsien West
Aug 21, 2015 Tamsien West rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
A wonderfully melancholy collection of 3 short stories. All 3 had an element of naivete about the protagonist, something like an air of innocence that becomes tainted before the story is over. It is the shattering of the gentle illusions that left me as a reader feeling a pang of loss on their behalf. Mansfield has a flair for moody domestic scenes, and I will definitely seek out her other work.
Sep 17, 2014 Kabrina rated it it was amazing
Miss Brill reminded me of myself and I was surging with happiness that an author could put in to words the feelings I get-which seem so hard to explain to people who are often completely inside their heads and overly cynical-every other day.

When I read the young couple judging her, I teared up. It cut too close to home, along with feeling bad for them attacking a person who did nothing but be.

I know what it feels like to wear something-deemed weird by many- just because you like it and to be t
Jul 02, 2009 Bridget rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-reads
This is another title I was introduced to via audio - this time downloaded from LibriVox. It is from a book of short stories by Katherine Mansfield, called "The Garden Party," which I am now anxious to find.

Miss Brill is the main character in a story about a woman who visits the park in her small town every Sunday. In the springtime, their are concerts, and as she is waiting one day for one to begin, she makes observations about those around her. She is a woman of very definite opinions, leading
Noor Baher
Jan 06, 2015 Noor Baher rated it liked it
It's very symbolic
Belinda G
May 29, 2015 Belinda G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own-this, 2015
I loved all of the stories!I'd never read Katherine Mansfield before, but holy moly guys.... this is the thing. She is probably my new queen. I'm not even really into short stories and I absolutely loved them all. I really wanted all three to continue, they were that good.

I'm trying very hard not to wax lyrical about these, because I think the less I say, the better. I don't want to give too much away and feel like her stories are better experienced first hand than summarised by me.

It's $2 wort
Esraa Diab
Jan 04, 2015 Esraa Diab rated it it was amazing
Miss Birll ^^
why on earth i love Miss birll? I don't know -.-
i just loved this short story and didn't think twice in giving it 5 points..

Miss Birll is a true example of how community deals with old people and how they think about themselves.
old people are very simple, if they knew that people are paying attention to them they will be so happy. however, even this little thing we take it away from them!

selfishness is all what we can describe our actions with them with. we neglect them, make fun o
Heather Rose
Feb 13, 2013 Heather Rose rated it really liked it
I see that many people find Miss Brill to be pompous and looking down her nose at the little people 'coming from their cupboards' I didnt find that at all as all these characters on the stage were so valuable to her. There is equal footing in this family of stage characters. It is heart breaking to realize that something that is integral to the happiness in your life is essentially garbage to someone else. Seems like she thought more that she shared something common with them and they were endea ...more
May 03, 2015 Marla rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mansfield's writing is delicate and elegant, and her depiction of the characters is always fine and detailed, but in an attentive and never-too-revealing way, which makes them more real and human, as well ever-changing (something I really like about her style).

What the three stories have in common is the theme of communication/understanding, or rather the lack of it, which eventually brings us to the theme of loneliness. Here again, she manages to be delicate and witty without being dramatic, an
Three short stories made with the finest ingredients of the genre - creeping undercurrents that remain half-hidden to the last word, the human soul at a glance, setting up a whole spectrum of moods in the span of 10 to 20 pages, a perfect measure of everything. Exquisite. Off to the rest of The Garden Party and Other Stories.

2015 Reading Challenge: A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit
Kate Did
Apr 18, 2012 Kate Did rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This could possibly be my favorite story ever written. Though short Mansfield manages to impart more meaning and emotion into a few short pages then most can in a epic novel. Though not the happiest of short stories it's rich images made feel almost like i was the character herself
Aghnia Yuniarto Putri
Apr 19, 2013 Aghnia Yuniarto Putri rated it really liked it
Shelves: scle
It is kinda confusing when I read this short story for the first time. But after I read this story again I can grasp the plot well. I understand this story's plot. I try to find the absurdity of humanity and I found it! The absurdity is when you judge people then you'll be judged by other people too. So, those who do bad deeds will also get bad fruits. Everyone will say that "I've ever feel that way too" after read Miss Brill's story.
Sep 12, 2015 Lin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, own, 2015
I need more Katherine Mansfield in my life! Her writing is not only superb, she also has this talent of capturing characters in a really subtle way. Loved the stories and can only recommend them!
Terry Clague
Three short stories.

I struggle with short stories and reading this on holiday perhaps illuminated part of the reason - my short attention span. This sounds odd - you'd think longer books would be a struggle for a reader like me. The problem is that I scan-read a fair bit and you just can't get away with it in a short story - found myself going back and back and back. With something full-length, you get drawn in and compelled. With short form, I found I finished the story not knowing what the he
Mar 20, 2008 Heather rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: literary fans
Recommended to Heather by: Prof. Handley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Saoirse T. E. Sterling
I did so much enjoy these New Zealand short stories, though I'm not certain why. Written well, but often subtle and vague, which often infuriates me. Occasionally with pointless moments, but also of the kind that speak to you across the ages.
Feb 20, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
A beautifully sad story about a woman who doesn't belong in society. She criticizes and pities others for being odd, silent, outsiders and then realises that she herself is an odd, silent, outsider. Beautiful symbolism and comparisons.
Jan 16, 2013 Bek rated it it was ok
This is about a lady who finds a fox scarf and she is so lonely that she talks to it and everybody laughs at her so she starts to ignore the scarf and the scarf starts banging on the closet door because it wants more attention.
Mind the Book
Penguins Lilla Svarta lanseras nu för 80p. Helt oemotståndliga! Har länge velat läsa Miss Brill och ytterligare två noveller ingår i den här tunnelbaneläsningsvänliga utgåvan.
Jun 03, 2015 Antonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20th-century
Interesting endings to all of the stories, but the struggle to actually get there is real.
Maureen Lo
A good intro to Katherine Mansfield's writing. Will probably explore her other works.
Sam Still Reading
May 16, 2015 Sam Still Reading rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for an interesting, quick read
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: love the idea of Penguin Little Black Classics
Miss Brill is the perfect introduction to Katherine Mansfield if like me; you’re late to reading her great stories. This Penguin Little Black Classic contains three short stories from The Garden Party and Other Stories, first published in 1922. All three stories (Marriage a la Mode, Miss Brill and The Stranger) have a common theme of loneliness, mis-communication and cross purposes about them. Marriage a la Mode is about a wife who has decided to have a little fun with a set of friends whilst he ...more
Oct 26, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-5, classics
Okay. Nothing spectacular, but maybe it's just the selection of stories. Mansfield displays a knack for articulating subtly that unique alienation and loneliness that pervades our lives to varying extents. Marriage a la Mode was the most heart-wrenching of the three; both it and Miss Brill are tragic in their lonely, wistful hopelessness.
Aug 23, 2015 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, novellas
This was enjoyable, and a good introduction to Mansfield's writing, as I'd never read anything by her before. I liked all three stories, but my favourite by far was the titular Miss Brill - beautiful but bittersweet. Will definitely be reading some more Mansfield in the future!
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Kathleen Mansfield Murry was a prominent New Zealand modernist writer of short fiction who wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield.

Katherine Mansfield is widely considered one of the best short story writers of her period. A number of her works, including "Miss Brill", "Prelude", "The Garden Party", "The Doll's House", and later works such as "The Fly", are frequently collected in short st
More about Katherine Mansfield...

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“She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn't listen, at sitting in other people's lives just for a minute while they talked round her.” 11 likes
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