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Walker gives an account of Louis Esson's intellectual and artistic development as his preferred mode of expression changed from poetry to drama. After leaving Australia because of his dissatisfaction with the possibilities for artists in 1905, Esson spent some time in Paris before returning with the advice of the Irish playwright, John Synge, to study his own people. Walker argues that Esson's movements are important becaue they reveal a great deal about the development of Australian culture in the first decades of the twentieth century.