Vance Palmer (1885 - 1959)
Vance and Nettie Palmer were two of Australia's best-known literary figures from the 1920s to the 1950s. Edward Vivian "Vance" Palmer (28 August 1885 – 15 July 1959) was a novelist, dramatist, essayist and critic. Janet Gertrude "Nettie" Palmer (née Higgins) (18 August 1885 – 19 October 1964) was a poet, essayist and Australia's leading literary critic. Between them they did more to promote Australian literature, particularly (in Nettie's case) literature by women, than anyone else of their generation. Vance was born in Bundaberg, Queensland, on 28 August 1885 and attended the Ipswich Grammar School. With no university in Queensland at the time, he studied contemporary Australian writing at the intellectual hub in Brisbane at the time, the School of Arts, following the work of A.G. Stephens. Working in various jobs, he took a position as a tutor at Abbieglassie cattle station, 800 kilometres west of Brisbane in the 'back of beyond'. He also worked as a manager: at that time there was a large Aboriginal population with whom he both worked and celebrated, attending their frequent corroborrees. It was here his love of the land and environmental awareness was honed, so too his interest in white black relationships. From his early years he was determined to be a writer, and in 1905 and again in 1910 he went to London, then the centre of Australia's cultural universe, to learn his craft and advance his prospects. He was acknowledged as an expert on foreign affairs - in Mexico and Ireland. His association with Alfred Orage and his work for the New Age and other guild socialists greatly influenced his political outlook.
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