Journal article

Review: Loving Words: Love Letters of Vance and Nettie Palmer 1909-1914. Deborah Jordan Ed.

Ashley Barnwell

Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature | Association for the Study of Australian Literature | Published : 2019


Deborah Jordan has edited the early letters between Nettie Higgins (1885–1964) and Vance Palmer (1885–1959) into a fascinating longitudinal study of blossoming love. Born in Melbourne and Brisbane respectively, the Palmers played a formative role in the literary culture of a newly federated Australia. Both were key voices in cultural criticism. They wrote journalism, biographies, reviews, literature, and featured on radio programs. Jordan discovered the courtship letters—all 350, 000 loving words of them—as a postgraduate student in the 1970s amidst the National Library of Australia’s collections. Published in 2018, this book is clearly a project that, in a fitting mirror of the love letters..

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