Her feelings of disjuncture were accentuated when she arrived in Britain in 1903 to attend Queen’s College. In many respects, Mansfield remained a lifelong outsider, a traveler between two seemingly similar yet profoundly different worlds. After briefly returning to New Zealand in 1906, she moved back to Europe in 1908, living and writing in England and parts of continental Europe. Until her premature death from tuberculosis at the age of 34, Mansfield remained in Europe, leading a Bohemian, unconventional way of life.
The Domestic Picturesque
Mansfield’s short story “Prelude” is set in New Zealand and dramatizes the disjunctures of colonial life through an account of the Burnell family’s move from Wellington to a country village. The story takes its title from Wordsworth’s seminal poem, “The Prelude,” the first version of which was completed in 1805, which casts the poet as a traveler and chronicles the “growth of a poet’s mind.” Although the Burnell family moves a mere “six miles” from town, the move is not inconsequential; it enacts a break with their previous way of life and alerts the family