Department of English
Faculty of Arts, Chulalongkorn University
The Lady's Maid
(October 14, 1888January 9, 1923)
Page references to the short story on this website are based on the Knopf 1922 edition of Mansfield's The Garden Party: Mansfield, Katherine. "The Lady's Maid." The Garden Party, and Other Stories. New York: Knopf, 1922. 24855.
248 eiderdown: a thick covering for the top of a bed, filled with soft feathers or warm material, used especially in the past (Cambridge Advanced Learner's)
249 lumbago: general pain in the lower part of the back (Cambridge Advanced Learner's)
251 pinny: UK informal for pinafore (LOOSE CLOTHING) (Cambridge Advanced Learner's)
pinafore: (informal pinny) a piece of clothing worn by women over the front of other clothes to keep them clean while doing something dirty, especially cooking (Cambridge Advanced Learner's)
254 ducky: (mainly US old-fashioned informal) excellent or very pleasant (Cambridge Advanced Learner's)
Life has been ducky since she got out of the hospital.
What a ducky little room!
1: darling, cute <a
ducky little tearoom>
2: satisfactory, fine <everything is just ducky>
254 brooch: a small piece of jewellery with a pin at the back that is fastened to a woman's clothes (Cambridge Advanced Learner's)
254 dagger: a short pointed knife which is sharp on both sides, used especially in the past as a weapon (Cambridge Advanced Learner's)
Study Questions for Katherine Mansfield's The Lady's Maid
Some things to think about as you read and reread.
Fill in the missing side of the conversation.
Notice the presence of time in the story. How is time conveyed?
What is the relationship like between Ellen and her "ladies"? How does it compare to that between her and Harry?
What are the similarities and differences between the generations of women portrayed?
What is wrong with "thinking" at the end of the story?
Explore contrasts in the story such as lady-maid, holy-wicked, alive-dead, youth-age, close-open.
My lady's dead mother
Grandfather has a hair-dresser's shop (250)
Aunt a cripple upholstress (251)
Harry flower-shop keeper (253)
Sample Student Reading Responses to Katherine Mansfield's The Lady's Maid
Mansfield, Katherine. "The Lady's Maid." The Garden Party, and Other Stories. New York: Knopf, 1922. 24855.
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Last updated January 18, 2010