Her First Ball is a 1921 short story by the New Zealand author Katherine Mansfield , first published in The Sphere magazine and later included in Mansfield’s collection The Garden Party and Other Stories. “Her First Ball” follows country girl Leila as she attends a dance with her city-dwelling cousins the Sheridans. Leila’s joy and excitement are briefly punctured by one of her dancing partners, an older man who paints a bitter picture of Leila’s future. A young girl named Leila is about to attend her first ball, escorted by her cousins, Meg , Laurie , Laura and Jose Sheridan . Leila is from the New Zealand countryside, and she has never been to a ball before, to the surprise of her wealthier and more experienced cousins. The story opens in a cab: Leila is on her way to her first ball with her cousins the Sheridans. The Sheridans tease her gently for never having been to a ball before, and Leila explains that her country home is very remote. She feels very excited about the ba
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