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ClassicsOnline Home » Short Stories: Classic Women's Short Stories (Unabridged)
Five stories from influential women writers of the nineteenth century and the first decades of the twentieth century. New Zealand-born Katherine Mansfield settled in England where she wrote a series of short stories that are widely recognised as among the finest of the twentieth century for their economy, clarity, sensitivity and effect. ‘The Garden Party’ is one of her most famous, while ‘Daughters of the Late Colonel’ shows a wonderful sense of wit. Kate Chopin, writing in the last years of the nineteenth century, broke new ground with her daring view of women as individuals with human needs. ‘Lilacs’ and ‘Ma’ame Pelagie’ are sympathetic portraits of women with differing dilemmas. Woolf’s ‘A Mark on the Wall’ shows, in short story form, the turmoil within the stillness which became such a mark of her later novels.
By Rochelle O'Gorman
The Hartford Courant
"A British company that produces a superior product is Naxos AudioBooks, which marries literature with classical music. The audiobooks are housed in attractive plastic cases adorned with reproductions of well-known paintings. 'Classic Women's Short Stories' features the works of Katherine Mansfield, Kate Chopin and Virginia Woolf.
Three British actresses bring these atmospheric stories to life. Piano and string music breaks up the passages, and the women adopt fresh tones and accents for different characters as they capture the authors' isolation, suffering and sly humor."
MANSFIELD · KATE CHOPIN · VIRGINIA WOOLF
Women’s Short Stories
CAROLE BOYD, LIZA ROSS AND TERESA GALLAGHER
/ 2 COMPACT DISCS
Daughters of the Late Colonel
stories from influential women writers from the close of the 19th century and
the first decades of the 20th century are represented in this collection. New
Zealand-born, Katherine Mansfield settled in England where she wrote a series of short
stories, widely recognized as among the finest of the 20th century for their
economy, clarity, sensitivity and effect. The Garden Party is one of her most famous, while The
Daughters of the Late Colonel shows how her wonderful sense of wit throws a shadow of
poignancy. Kate Chopin, writing in the last years of the 19th century, broke new ground with
her daring view of women as individuals with human needs. Lilacs and Ma’ame Pelagie are sympathetic portraits of women
with differing dilemmas. Virginia Woolf’s The Mark on the Wall illustrates, in short story form,
the turmoil within the stillness, which became such a mark of her later novels.
(1850-1904) was born Katherine O’Flaherty in St. Louis, Missouri. At the age of
20, she married a Creole, Oscar Chopin, and went to live in Louisiana – first
in New Orleans and then in Cloutierville. When in 1882 her husband died of
swamp fever, Kate Chopin was left with five sons and a daughter. After a few
years, she moved back to St. Louis and started writing short stories, making a
living with her pen.
distinctive, iconoclastic eye saw the role and the plight of women in Louisiana
society with a clarity unrecorded in fiction before. Chopin recognized the
emotional and sexual needs of women, at a time when such subjects were largely
concealed beneath propriety.
by the French master of the short story, Guy de Maupassant, she wrote her first
novel, At Fault,
which was published in 1890. A succession of short stories followed –
eventually she was to write over 100 – almost all set in the formal, restricted
but passionate society she encountered during her married life in Louisiana.
Collections were published, including Bayou Folk (1894) and Acadie (1897), and she contributed
regularly to magazines and periodicals including Harper’s and Vogue.
she published The Awakening, the novel for which she has been principally remembered.
Often described as a Creole Madame Bovary, its account of a woman searching for herself is
both vivid and evocative, and was immediately criticized for its candid
attitude towards unconventional morality.
qualities can be found in the two stories in this collection. Ma’ame Pelagie perfectly sets the context of lives
in the South 30 years after the Civil War. The very nature of the South was
broken by conflict and even during Chopin’s time it had not recovered. The
poignancy of the plight of Ma’ame Pelagie is very real.
Lilacs is one of her most famous stories.
Set in Paris, it once again presents a controversial subject and questions,
without moralizing, where hypocrisy really lies. For Kate Chopin, there is no
simple answer, no clear division between the good and the bad. We are just
human beings, living and working in a society we created, she says.
in 1904, and her work was largely forgotten until a strong revival of interest
in the 1950s and 1960s allowed her to take her earned place in American literature.
of KATHERINE MANSFIELD, born in Wellington, New Zealand in 1888, are often
cited with those of Anton Chekhov, as masterpieces of the genre. They are
perfect miniatures, minutely crafted, yet with a distinctive simplicity of
style and presentation.
came to England to finish her education, returned to New Zealand, but in 1908
was back in London, clear in her mind that she would follow a writer’s career.
husband, George Bowden, persuaded her to approach The New Age with her early
stories, and it supported her throughout her short life. In 1911 she met John
Middleton Murry, an association that was to lead to a secure and intimate
relationship. They married in 1918.
suffering from tuberculosis, she wrote steadily, poetry as well as prose. The
Garden Party and Other Stories was published in 1922 and has remained her most popular
Garden Party is a
gem. A summer party is being held in the established environment of the
comfortable English society. The young things are learning to prepare and host
it themselves – perpetuating customs. But this is post-First World War, and a
new, more human, consciousness is emerging which questions the whole issue of
class structure. Laura is faced with a dilemma and we feel that she will never
quite be the same again.
Daughters of the Late Colonel, Mansfield looks acutely at lives caught in a time warp.
Two ageing sisters come to terms with the death of their elderly father, and
the implications for change in their own lives. The author’s rich sense of
humor positions this tale on a wonderfully light level – yet in masterly
fashion never conceals the tragedy within.
on the Wall is,
technically, the most advanced of these stories. Here, VIRGINIA WOOLF
(1882-1941) uses a small point of reference to work with the concept of the
stream of consciousness – the seemingly unordered, wayward succession of
thoughts, which emerge in the forefront of the mind.
known for her major novels including Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), The Waves (1931), and Orlando (1938), she also wrote short
stories where she could experiment with styles and concepts.
periodically suffered from mental illness and committed suicide in 1941.
trained at the Birmingham School of Speech and Drama where she won the
principal national prize for voice, the Carleton Hobbs Award, and immediately
joined the BBC Radio Drama Company. Vocal versatility is her specialty, from
her creation of the notorious character of Linda Snell in The Archers to Poetry Please and all the female characters in Postman
Pat. She has won
prestigious awards for her reading of Roy’s The God of Small Things and Huth’s Landgirls. She has written and recorded her
own audiobook, Lynda Snell’s History of Ambridge.
has appeared on stage in the West End and in repertoire across Great Britain,
and The Front Stage at the Royal National Theatre. She has made many television appearances
including After the War, Poor Little Rich Girl, Two’s Company and The Month of the Doctors. Her film work has included Batman
and Shadowchasers. She works extensively as a voice
artist and has recorded numerous books for Naxos AudioBooks and others.
GALLAGHER has performed in many leading roles in both plays and musicals across
the Great Britain, London’s West End and off Broadway. In addition, she is a
well-known voice to listeners of BBC Radio Drama. Her work on film includes The
Misadventures of Margaret and Mike Leigh’s Topsy Turvy.
Lilacs by Kate Chopin
Read by Liza
Adrienne Farival never announced her coming.’
Side 2 (39:21)
lingered long upon the foot-bridge...’
Adrienne was at home. Paris had engulfed her.’
precisely a year later.’
on the Wall by
was the middle of January...’
lights that mark on the wall seems actually to project from the wall.’
on Cassette 2: 1:19:45
on Cassettes 1-2: 2:42:37
on this recording is taken from the NAXOS and MARCO POLO catalogs
OSWALD PIANO MUSIC 8.223639
SPOHR STRING QUINTETS 8.223600
Quartet, Attila Falvay, violin
ALKAN PIANO MUSIC 8.223284
ON NAXOS AUDIOBOOKS…
By Kate Chopin; Read by Liza Ross
ISBN 9-62634-608-6 / NA210814 (2
ISBN 9-62634-108-4 / NA210812 (2
By Virginia Woolf; Read by Laura
ISBN 9-62634-504-7 / NA200414 (2
ISBN 9-62634-004-5 / NA200412 (2
TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
By Virginia Woolf; Read by Juliet
ISBN 9-62634-536-5 / NA203614 (2
ISBN 9-62634-036-3 / NA203612 (2
AMERICAN SHORT STORIES
Bierce, Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, Jack London & O. Henry; Read by William
9-62634-712-0 / NA221214 (2 Cassettes)
9-62634-212-9 / NA221212 (2 CDs)
me know if you need add’l cross promos!]
WOMEN SHORT STORIES · ISBN 9-62634-738-4 / NA223814
è 2001 NAXOS AudioBooks Ltd. © 2001 NAXOS AudioBooks
Ltd. Made in the U.S.A.
picture: The Tea Party by Jules Cayron by courtesy of Bridgeman Art Library.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC PERFORMANCE,
BROADCASTING AND COPYING OF THIS RECORDING PROHIBITED.
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