Heart of Flame: Katherine Mansfield’s Flowers & Trees

Compiled by Beverley Randell


This compilation features a selection of some of Mansfield’s best writing about flowers and trees, is beautifully and generously illustrated, and is accompanied by a brief history of KM’s all too short life.


Katherine Mansfield, the outstanding short story writer, adored the natural world — flowers trees and seasons. This passion shines through her stories, poems and letters.

Mansfield created hundreds of vivid and enduring images:

a clump of toetoe waving in the wind and looking for all the world like a family of little girls drying their hair.

Very large astonished daisies are beginning to flower everywhere …

There was a great cabbage tree growing in the front garden and the shadow it cast on the front door looked like a many-armed monster …

Through its 300+ quotations, Heart of Flame reveals the exuberance and originality of KM’s words, and Jenni Shoesmith’s lively illustrations make it easy to identify the plants she loved so much.

This compilation incorporates a brief history of KM’s all too short life.


About the author

Compiler Beverley Randell grew up in Wellington and like KM, walked to Karori School along roads lined with buttercups and daisies. The natural world and small children fascinate her, and she specialises in writing stories for beginners learning to read.

Artist Jenni Shoesmith, originally from England, moved to Wellington in 2009. A freelance artist and illustrator who uses a variety of media, she has worked in TV and film as a digital artist. Since working on this project, she has been moved by Katherine Mansfield’s words and relationship with plants and has become an enthusiastic gardener who talks to her flowers, as she imagines Katherine once did.

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