A landmark collection of BBC Radio productions of the works of Katherine Mansfield – plus two bonus dramas.

One of the great Modernist authors, Katherine Mansfield was a short story virtuoso, redefining the genre with her subtle, powerfully perceptive tales. A prolific writer, she penned over 60 stories and several poetry collections before her tragic death from tuberculosis in 1923, aged only 34.

This collection opens with seven plays from Radio 4’s 2020 series And Other Stories: Katherine Mansfield. It features dramatisations of ‘Marriage a la Mode’, ‘Something Childish But Very Natural’, ‘Bliss’, ‘Daughters of the Late Colonel’, ‘The Garden Party’, ‘Ma Parker’ and ‘Her First Ball’, all starring Hattie Morahan, supported by casts including Charlotte East, Luke Nunn, Ellie Piercy, Joel MacCormack and Cecilia Appiah.

There are readings of ‘The Stranger’, ‘Miss Brill’, ‘A Cup of Tea’, Poison’ and ‘The Doll’s House’, by Hugh Bonneville, Barbara Flynn, Hattie Morahan and Blake Ritson.

Also included are some of her lesser-known tales: ‘Mr Reginald Peacock’s Day’ (read by Brian Gear), ‘Sun and Moon’ (read by Lin Sagovsky, and ‘Honeymoon’ (read by Emilia Fox).

Finally, two original dramas explore moments in the life of the great author. Cherie Rogers’ An Oddly Complete Understanding looks at Mansfield’s friendship with Virginia Woolf and stars Rosalind Shanks and Penelope Wilton. Katie Hims’ Luxembourg Gardens re-imagines Katherine Mansfield’s last day in Paris and stars Hattie Morahan.

Something Childish but Very Natural – Henry and Edna meet and fall in love, just as passionately as they always hoped they might.

Daughters of the Late Colonel – Jug and Con’s fear of their father’s disapproval continues even after he has died.

Bliss – Bertha’s life is dedicated to happiness, and her will for happiness folds around every experience, until this one.

The Garden Party – Laura learns, briefly, the awful gap between her class and that of a dead neighbour on the day of her mother’s garden party.Hattie Morahan ….. Katherine Mansfield

Marriage a la Mode – Isabel’s new friends come between her and husband William.

Life of Ma Parker – The cleaner for a Literary Gentleman discovers she has absolutely nowhere to grieve when her grandson dies.

Her First Ball – Leila learns that the joy of a ball, and of being young and free, is short-lived and destined to end.

The Doll’s House – The Burnell children invite their classmates to see their new toy, all except the pauper Kelsey girls.

Mr Reginald Peacock’s Day – “The truth was that once you married a woman she became insatiable…. nothing was more fatal for an artist than marriage….” A singing teacher ponders the mundane nature of married life, compared to the passion of his profession.

Honeymoon – By the Mediterranean Sea, Fanny contemplates her future with George, a ‘man of the world’.

Miss Brill – Read by Barbara Flynn

Poison – Read by Blake Ritson

The Stranger – Read by Hugh Bonneville

Sun and Moon – The young offspring of a wealthy family witness the transformation of their house for a grand gathering.

A Cup of Tea – Rosemary Fell is accomplished and rich, but her vanity is exposed when she decides to do a good deed.

The Lady’s Maid – Ellen, the Maid, finds solace in her one-sided conversation with “madam,” an unnamed guest of Ellen’s employer.

An Oddly Complete Understanding – Introduced to each other by Lytton Strachey in 1916, the friendship between Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf had to overcome formidable obstacles – the differences of class and culture, the threat of madness and tuberculosis. But the influence of each on the other was destined, to some degree, to change the direction of women writers this century.

Luxembourg Gardens – For the last five years of her short life, Katherine Mansfield struggles to find a cure for her pulmonary tuberculosis. Very ill, and sometimes hallucinatory, she spends her last day in Paris before resolving to stop writing while she finds a cure. A Mansfieldesque play about Katherine Mansfield.