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'Australia's most famous literary couple in the 1940s were Vance and Nettie Palmer. Vance, a handsome man of little more than average height, usually sported a bow tie over regular blue shirts, which suited him; otherwise he dressed in neat, brown, casual clothes, which went well with his 'customary shade of mahogany'. And, answering a question that was on everyone's lips, he had served overseas - even if the Armistice had been declared in 1918 before he saw action. He had already been to Europe twice, the second time moving in the circle of A.R. Orage and the New Age. here he had rubbed shoulders with such people as Katherine Mansfield, Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound. More importantly, Vance had imbibed guild socialist ideas of community, craftsmanship and folk curlture, sustaining a lifelong detestation of cities, industrial society and mass culture.' (Author's introduction)