In a German Pension is a 1911 collection of short stories by the writer Katherine Mansfield; her first published collection.
For these pension stories, Mansfield took inspiration from her own stay as a ‘cure guest’ in Villa Pension Müller at a Bavarian spa of Bad Wörishofen in 1909, send off there by her mother to muffle her extramarital pregnancy which would end in a miscarriage.
The stories analyse the German middle class and their habits, prejudices and loves. They also look at the more difficult lives of the servants. Mansfield was in the vanguard of the modernist movement acquainted with Virginia Woolf and D H Lawrence and the like.There is a focus on the role of women as wives, mothers, lovers, put upon servants (the wives as well as the servants) and there is a sense of injustice and even rage underneath. Some are very funny, some tragic. One in particular has a jaw dropping ending (The Child-who-was-tired)that stays with you , the horror of it gradually seeping in.
Mansfield was influenced by Chekov and became an increasingly good short story writer brfore her early death. Mansfield referred to these stories as immature as she developed her craft; but they are fresh, sharply humourous and do feel very modern.
"Germans at Meat" - an English woman is at a German pension where she and her dinner companions talk about the possibility of war breaking out
"The Baron" - an unnamed narrator observes a solitary baron
"The sister of the Baroness" - an English lady is staying in a German pension where people are expecting the arrival of a daughter of a baroness and her aunt
"Frau Fischer" - Frau Fischer comes to the pension for the 'cure' and begins to tell our unnamed English lady about life and love, the way Germans see them
"Frau Brechenmacher Attends a Wedding" - Frau and Herr Brechenmacher go to a wedding
"The Modern Soul" - an English Fräulein befriends a buffoonish professor, a widow and her actress daughter while staying at a pension
"At “Lehmann’s”" - Sabina works in the Lehmann’s home and coffee shop when she meets the Young Man
"The Luft Bad" - a (English?) woman visits a bath house
"A Birthday" - Andreas goes to fetch a doctor because his wife has gone into labor
"The Child-Who-Was-Tired" - a child servant in the boarding house takes care of the masters and her children
"The Advanced Lady" - the young lady from England, Violet, is the subject of the other bath house patrons' gossip
"The Swing of the Pendulum" - a young woman is awaiting her sweetheart when another man enters the room
"A Blaze" - a married woman has a dispute with the unmarried man she's been flirting with