The Palmer Abridgement of ‘Such is Life’


In April 1936 Jonathan Cape, the London publisher, informed Vance Palmer that he had been thinking of re-issuing Joseph Furphy's Such is Life. But he insisted that if the novel was to succeed with the English reading public 'it would need to be edited drastically by cutting out a great deal of verbose and redundant matter'. A successful abridgement, he believed, might mean that Such is Life 'would stand as an Australian classic' The question remained, was Palmer prepared to abridge the novel? He accepted for a fee of £50, which he regarded as 'mere wages'.

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Published 1 October 1978 in Volume 8 No. 4. Subjects: Australian identity, Australian literature and writers, Book reviewing, Publishing, Textual criticism & editing, Marcus Clarke, Vance Palmer.

Cite as: Walker, David Robert. ‘The Palmer Abridgement of ‘Such is Life’.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 8, no. 4, 1978, doi: 10.20314/als.9bb12c00d0.