"The notion of 'tropic days' conjures images of warmth and idleness, of reverie, of the flight from the cares and cold of the south, or the north, depending from where you are coming. In Tales from the Torrid Zone: Travels in the Deep Tropics, the English writer Alexander Frater defined le coup de bamboo, 'a mild form of tropic madness for which, luckily, there is no cure'. The tropics are the latitudes of escape - from work, from domestic responsibility. The ersatz myth-making of travel brochures emphasises these temporary possibilities. Yet the writers and painters whose lives we have mentioned found that North Queensland was the region where they could work most productively. They escaped, but into creative exertion, as much as from irksome calls on their time. Doing so, they spent their tropics days in ways that have enormously enriched Australian culture, its literature and art in particular."