Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Edward Vivian Vance Palmer, generally regarded as one of Australia’s leading writers for almost thirty years, created a niche for himself in genres including fiction, poetry, and criticism. In all his writing, the influences of his early life in the outback areas of the northern state of Queensland, where he held many jobs (tutor, bookkeeper, and stock drover among them), as well as his travels through England, the United States, Europe, Siberia, and Asia and his service in the Australian Imperial Force in World War I, made him an acute observer of the common people. Their lives of quiet existence, minor romances, monotonous routines, and family feuds and responsibilities became the substance of his fictional and poetic representations.
In his youth, Australian literature was beginning to develop its characteristic styles and genres. Style was straightforward, even pedestrian, and masculine. Ballad rather than lyric poetry was seen as appropriate to a male-dominated culture, and the short story (especially as it took shape in the tall tale) was more popular than the novel of Victorian sensibilities. Because Palmer grew up in the outback, in a small rural settlement distant from any large urban center, he was influenced by both the geography and the mores of the bush. Accordingly, his first stories were published as The World of Men, and his characters were drawn from small-town models. His travels in Europe and Asia provided no direct material...
(The entire section is 1006 words.)
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