At The Bay


Resource Pack for: Katherine Mansfield’s “At The Bay.”


Created by Greer Sydney


Katherine Mansfield was born in 1888 in New Zealand.

She was the second daughter of wealthy parents

She was sent away to England to be educated and returned to New Zealand at the age of 18. She convinced her parents to let her return to England at the age of 19. She made her own living through performing and writing witty skits at first.

Mansfield was a young woman in a time of restrictive social boundaries. She chose her life and defied social norms.

Although her life was short, (she died at the age of 34), she lived it uncompromisingly.

Her story “At The Bay”, reflects a life that may have been bestowed on her had she chosen to stay in New Zealand.

Her stories are mainly concerned with a woman’s role in society, their sexuality, their circumstances from their own perspectives, and she shows the reader the effects of males on the female world.

We begin to understand the limits a woman had in the late 19th and early 20th Century.

Mansfield perfected and revolutionised short story writing. We begin to admire her intricate patterns of imagery and symbolism, the glimpses into these womens’ “rooms” and their perspectives.