Nettie Palmer i(535 works by) (birth name: Janet Gertrude Higgins) (a.k.a. Janet Gertrude Palmer; N. P.)
Also writes as: Bendigo ; N.Q. ; Owen Roe O'Neill ; Shalott
Born: Established: 18 Aug 1885 Bendigo, Bendigo area, Ballarat - Bendigo area, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 19 Oct 1964 Hawthorn, Camberwell - Kew area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria,
Gender: Female
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Nettie Palmer was born Janet Gertrude Higgins in Bendigo, Victoria and was schooled at the Presbyterian Ladies' College. After taking a BA and diploma in education from the University of Melbourne, she travelled to England and continued her studies in French and German. She returned to Melbourne and completed an MA in 1912. In 1914 she returned to England and married Vance Palmer (q.v.), beginning one of Australia's most important literary partnerships. In 1915 the couple returned to Australia where their two children were born.

Nettie Palmer had published two volumes of poetry before leaving England, but her later writing extended into biography, literary journalism and criticism, diary writing, editing and translating. Her extensive literary journalism became an important source of income for the Palmer family, allowing Vance to concentrate on his more serious literature. The years between 1925-1935 were Nettie Palmer's most productive. She wrote for numerous periodicals and newspapers and gave regular talks, promoting and encouraging the development of an Australian literature. She and Vance were very active in this promotion, especially with the seminal work of Australian literature, Joseph Furphy's Such Is Life. Their involvement in the publication of a second edition and their execution of an abridged version of the novel in the 1930s helped to make Australians more aware of their literary heritage. Ironically, widespread dissatisfaction with their abridged version may have stimulated the intense interest in Furphy during the 1940s.

In addition to her journalism and editing, Nettie Palmer wrote the first systematic and critical study of modern Australian literature during the 1920s and later wrote the first full-length study of the works of Henry Handel Richardson (q.v.). Her writing was devoted to the development of Australian literature in an attempt to produce a continuity that would enable younger writers to recognize an Australian tradition and proceed with a literature that captured the unique elements of Australian culture. Her extensive writing during the 1920s and 1930s is an important record of the many literary concerns of that period.


Last amended 15 Jun 2015 09:52:50
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