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Katherine Mansfield in the Garden: Modernism’s Weird Botany

Camilla Bostock, University of Plymouth

In an early autobiographical vignette, ‘In the Botanical Gardens’ (1907), the short story writer Katherine Mansfield has a transformative experience. She writes:

suddenly it disappears—all the pretty, carefully-tended surface of gravel and sward and blossom, and there is bush, silent and splendid. […] And everywhere, that strange, indefinable scent. As I breathe it, it seems to absorb, to become part of me—and I am old with the age of centuries, strong with the scent of savagery.[1]

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