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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  209 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
One of Katherine Mansfield's most important works, Prelude established her reputation as a master of short fiction. It is accompanied here by its continuation pieces At the Bay and The Doll's House. A large, seemingly loving family, the Burnells lead an idyllic life, with the children free to play at will, and with enough adults on hand to lavish love upon them. Yet alongs ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Hesperus Press (first published 1922)
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Fiona MacDonald
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
Beautifully, sensually written. Katherine Mansfield's descriptions a family's long summer days spent together are wonderful. The characters are exquisite, and the more you read, the more the tension of that seemingly perfect family bubbles under the surface until it threatens to explode. I loved the continuation of the story into the last 2 parts of the book.
Short story perfection. Set in her native New Zealand, this story features the Burnell family, who also appear in some of her other stories. At first glance they seem like a normal family, but on closer inspection Mansfield exposes their underlying struggles and insecurities. Written in the Modernist style, this lyrical flowing prose is a joy to read.
May 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bettie
The audio version is available at LibriVox.

One of the first books to be published by Leonard & Virginia Woolf's Hogarth Press, Prelude is among Katherine Mansfield's most accomplished stories, inspired by her childhood in New Zealand. (Introduction by ire monger)
Emily Pomeroy
Jun 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Very V&V (Vita & Virginia/Mrs. Dalloway so clearly loved it. Amazing writing of the undertones and insecurities of domestic life. Mansfield brings amazing clarity to seemingly simple but very deeply felt life experiences.
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
I am very grateful to all my kiwi friends who rolled their eyes and groaned painfully whenever Katherine Mansfield was mentioned (forced study at school no doubt) as I have put off reading her until I am old enough to appreciate it! Just such a beautifully written and evocative book - that the complete non-plot does not matter at all. The people seem so vivid and the stream of consciousness so plausible.
Apr 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A wonderful writer, beautifully descriptive and with penetrating characterizations; she's very different than anyone I have read. These stories, though, are dark, showing ugliness and pathology behind the facade of a tranquil domestic life.
Rita Pires
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Great descriptions of the scenes. But I was expecting more from this classic book.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
"Honk, honk," came from the servant girl. She had adenoids."

probs the funniest thing ive read all year
Cynthia Anderson
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm in love with Katherine Mansfield this week. So many great stories.
This is an excerpt from "Book of a lifetime: Prelude by Katherine Mansfield
Review from Kirsty Gunn: the Independent

Prelude is the story of a family who are leaving their house in town for life in the country, all told through the eyes of one of the younger daughters, Kezia, who observes every single little thing as one home is dismantled and another set up to take its place. Mansfield builds up a domestic world as rich and var
Kateryna Krivovyaz
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
if I could describe this short story with one word it would be " happiness". This story like others written by Katherine Mansfield's are so personal and universal that anyone would feel identified with its characters or nostalgic scenes. I felt genuinely happy while reading it.
Incredible piece of work. I like short stories a lot.
Feb 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: uni-2nd-year
Honestly, I'm sure I could've enjoyed this more but I couldn't help but drift off into my own world every few sentences and only realise I was doing it paragraphs later.
Aimee Lowe
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story. Great piece of modernist fiction (especially after battling with To the Lighthouse, which frankly did my head in).
May 20, 2014 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura
Mar 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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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
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“There were all her feelings for him, sharp and defined, one as true as the other. And there was the other, this hatred, just as real as the rest. She could have done her feelings up in little packets and given them to Stanley. She longed to hand him that last one, for a surprise. She could see his eyes as he opened that...” 0 likes
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