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Nettie Palmer Biography

(1885–1964), The South Winds, Shadowy Paths, Modern Australian Literature, Talking It Over, Henry Handel Richardson

Australian literary journalist, born in Victoria, educated at the University of Melbourne. After travels in Europe she and her husband Vance Palmer devoted themselves to nurturing Australian literature. Her works include The South Winds (1914) and Shadowy Paths (1915), poetry collections; Modern Australian Literature (1924), a survey of Australian literature between 1900 and 1923; the essays in Talking It Over (1932); and her studies of Henry Handel Richardson (1950) and Bernard O'Dowd (1954; with Victor Kennedy). As well as the above, she was the first to promote Miles Franklin, Katharine Prichard, M. Barnard Eldershaw, and Barbara Baynton. Her journal, Fourteen Years (1948), reveals Palmer as an influential figure at the centre of an expanding literary network. Her criticism was collected in Nettie Palmer: Fourteen Years: Extracts from a Private Journal, 1925–39; including Poems, Reviews and Literary Essays (1988) by Vivian Smith.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Cynthia Ozick Biography to Ellis Peters Biography