ink in Her Veins: The troubled life of Aileen Palmer
UWA Publishing $29.99 pb, 350 pp, 9781742588254
In her new biography, Sylvia Martin tells us that Aileen Palmer wanted to be remembered as a poet. Until now, she has been best known as the elder daughter of Vance and Nettie Palmer, those beacons of Australian literature who devoted their lives to developing our literary culture. Aileen, with her sister Helen, carefully preserved the legacy of her parents, ensuring that their papers were deposited in the National Library of Australia. These papers, with their voluminous correspondence with other Australian writers, have proved an invaluable source for any scholar working on Australian literary history, particularly biographers. Aileen also left her own unpublished manuscripts, her fragments of autobiography, her diaries and poems in her parents' archives. Perhaps she hoped that a biographer like Martin would come along to make a narrative from them.