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Vance Palmer (Vance Edward Vivian Palmer) Biography

(1885–1959), (Vance Edward Vivian Palmer), Golconda, Seedtime, The Big Fellow, Let Birds Fly, The Rainbow Bird

Australian writer and critic, born in Queensland. He travelled widely and for some years he lived in London, where he came under the influence of A. R. Orage and married Nettie Palmer in 1914; he finally settled in Melbourne. As well as collections of verse and several plays he wrote fifteen novels, including the trilogy Golconda (1948), Seedtime (1957), and The Big Fellow (1959), set in Queensland, and several volumes of short stories, notably Let Birds Fly (1955) and The Rainbow Bird (1957). With his wife he believed in the ‘spirit’ of Australia and its realization in literature, and devoted his critical powers to its promotion. Among his works are National Portraits (1940), studies on individual writers including the playwright Louis Esson (1948), and The Legend of the Nineties (1954), a seminal text on Australian national realism. He pioneered the rediscovery of Joseph Furphy's Such Is Life (1903) and compiled Old Australian Bush Ballads (1951).

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