Economic Women: Money and (Im)mobility in Selected Stories by Katherine Mansfield

Research output: Contribution to Book/ReportChapterpeer-review


Regenia Gagnier’s comment that late Victorian literature ‘represents the everyday economic life between the genders’ as ‘refracted through the discourses of technology, machinery and economic operations’ applies equally to modernist writing of the early twentieth century, especially before England’s social structure was ruptured by the devastation of the Great War.1 In Katherine Mansfield’s stories the effects of modernity in the forms of ‘economic events that shaped the contemporary world’,2 then, are crucial touchstones for the changing subjectivities and self–other relations of her characters. To read her work through an economic lens informed by twenty-first-century consumer discourses and the ideology of global capitalism is to become aware of the marketplace as a powerful, animating force that intersects with and destabilizes her characters in unpredictable ways, shaping her modernist response to money conceived as the basis of economic and social power.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKatherine Mansfield
Subtitle of host publicationNew Directions
EditorsAimee Gasston, Gerri Kimber, Janet Wilson
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781350135529
ISBN (Print)9781350135505
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020

Publication series

NameHistoricising Modernism
PublisherBloomsbury Academic

Bibliographical note

Janet M. Wilson is Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Northampton. She recently co-edited Re-Forming World Literature: Katherine Mansfield and the Modernist Short Story (2018) and her edition The General and the Nightingale:Dan Davin’s War Stories is forthcoming. She is vice-chair of the Katherine Mansfield Society, co-editor of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing and series editor of Studies in World Literature


  • Katherine Mansfield
  • economic woman
  • early 20th century capitalism
  • alternative identities
  • market ideology
  • Frederic Jameson
  • class inequality
  • women and debt
  • consumerism
  • popular romance


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