Reprint: Vance Palmer: An Appreciation by K.S.P.

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Vance Palmer, who has won the first prize offered by "The Bulletin" for a serial this year, is a Queenslander, although he is at present living in Victoria. Last year he was also a prize dinner in this competition; and his recent novels and stories have been of such exceptional quality that no one is surprised at their success.

His many friends winner and admirers will be delighted, for Vance Palmer is one of those Lamb-like men whom everybody loves. His kindliness and charm of manner are reflected in his writing; as also the tranquil depths of his austere mind and sensitive humor. He has written poems and plays, essays and novels, the best known of which are: "The Forerunner" (poems), "The Black Horse," a one-act play, "The Man Hamilton," a novel, and "Men Are Human" to be published in book form presently.

After wandering about the world a good deal in his youth, inspecting a revolution in Mexico and journeying across Siberia to call on Tolstoy, Mr. Palmer lived some years in London, Paris and New York, contributing yarns of adventure and more serious sketches to the "Munsey Magazine," "Adventure," "The New Age" and other reviews. In 1913 he married Miss Nettie Higgins, a niece of Justice Higgins, herself a poet and critic of distinction, and renouncing dazzling prospects in England and America, came home to devote himself to a knowledge and expression of his own country and people.

So capable a craftsman might have made the easy fortune which is to be had by churning out horrors or cowboy romances. But Vance Palmer is an idealist, the most generous and single minded of men, and so devout in his service both to literature and this country that he has given the best he is capable of in his books always.

First published in The Daily News (Perth), 26 March 1930

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

Note: I wonder if the "K.S.P." here is Katharine Susannah Prichard.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 17, 2012 7:09 AM.

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