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Friday, November 28, 2014

Award for new study of Katherine Mansfield


A research project into the childhood and early life of Katherine Mansfield has won the 2015 Friends of the Turnbull Library (FoTL) Research Grant of $10,000.

Dr Gerri Kimber, a leading United Kingdom authority on Katherine Mansfield, has been working on a new biography of Katherine Mansfield’s early years and has already located previously unpublished material relating to her first 19 years in New Zealand. Dr Kimber will use the FoTL Research Grant to explore the collections of Wellington’s Alexander Turnbull Library, which is renowned for its substantial archives concerning Mansfield. This material includes the recently acquired literary and personal papers from the estate of John Middleton Murry, Mansfield’s husband.

Dr Kimber expects to complete the biography in 2015, and the book is to be published by the Edinburgh University Press.

‘Gerri Kimber’s work will shed new light on Mansfield’s early life and the significant influence of her New Zealand childhood on her writing.’ said Rachel Underwood, President of the Friends of the Turnbull Library. ‘This research project will enrich our understanding of KM and reinforce the immense value of the archives of the Turnbull Library.’

The Friends of the Turnbull Library used two generous bequests to establish this Research Grant, which supports the distinctive contribution that a research and heritage library makes to public knowledge. It celebrates the significant role of ongoing research and publication based on the Alexander Turnbull Library collections and the knowledge of the staff. 

The Friends’ Research Grant attracts a large number of applicants each year. Previous grants have been awarded to Philip Norman for his biography of Douglas Lilburn; Tim Beaglehole for his biography of historian JC Beaglehole; Alex Bremner for his study of colonial Anglican architecture; Paul Diamond for his photo-biography of Makareti (Maggie Papakura); Jennifer Shennan for her biography of dancer Poul Gnatt; Paul Meredith to research a book based on the journey to England of the Māori King Te Rata in 1914; to Philip Simpson for his book, Totara: Te Mahi a Rauru; to Charlotte Williams for a history of relations between Māori and the National Party 1936-1996; to Doug Munro for a history of the NZ Opera Company 1954-1971; and to Lucy Treep for a biography of writer, Maurice Shadbolt.

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