Reprint: "Utopia is Here", says Nettie Palmer

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Nettie Palmer, the Australian authoress, has returned to Australia with "a sneaking feeling that when Sir Thomas More put Utopia in the South Seas he thought of us." This is her conclusion after having gone to look into the European question and having been in Spain when the revolution began.

Vance and Nettie Palmer's elder daughter, Aileen Yvonne, who is 21, was in Barcelona when the revolution broke out. Her parents, ten miles away, were unable to reach her for three days, when they secured a lift in an army lorry.

They found no frightened refugee, but a capable young woman intensely interested assisting athletes who had gone there for the Olympiad acting as interpreter, as she spoke English, French, Italian, and Spanish.

She is again in Spain interpreting.

Met the Famous

Vance Palmer called at Henry Handel Richardson's home, a quiet house called Green Ridges, in Sussex, where the authoress lives quietly with a secretary, working regularly, but deliberately, every day.

"She won't hurry to please publishers, and her work is lasting," Palmer commented. "She is a most intensely serious artist, direct and simple in manner, and obviously Australian.

"She has lived in England since seventeen, except for a return trip to Australia in 1912, to collect material for 'Richard Mahoney,' but she retains the Australian voice.

"I met Rebecca West, whom I know very well, but we don't agree on many matters; also Havelock Ellis, one of the two old angels which include Bernard Shaw.

"It is not generally known that he came to Australia when 17, graduated at the Sydney University, and taught in two little bush schools before returning to England."

Mrs. Palmer broadcasted at the B.B.C. on Australia and Spain, and has returned with much material. She intends to amplify and modernise her book on Australian literature.

First published in The Australian Women's Weekly, 17 October 1936

[Thanks to the National Library of Australia's newspaper digitisation project for this piece.]

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 3, 2011 7:07 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #267 - Snake Charmers in Texas: Essays 1980-87 by Clive James was the previous entry in this blog.

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