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Award-winning author and historian Deborah Jordan has been a Lamb Island resident for nearly a decade.

She recently has published a love story that is creating some waves in the publishing world.

The book is called Loving Words which is based on the letters of early 20th century authors Nettie and Vance Palmer.

Deborah first found the love letters of Nettie Higgins and Vance Palmer when she was writing a thesis ‘decades ago’ when she was about the same age as the letter writers themselves.

She had a busy career as a professional historian researching school histories, maritime shipwrecks, and local histories in South Australia.

After she and her family came to Queensland, in 1996, so much of the heritage and landscape resonated with the power of the Palmers’ writing for her, she decided to revisit the evocative love letters.

Vance Palmer, for instance, wrote beautifully about Moreton Bay (and elsewhere). And their letters are particularly open.

In their later lives the Palmers became very significant Australian writers.

Deborah's biography of Nettie Palmer was published in 1999.

And there are some other exciting aspects of Queensland’s history that Deborah found that have been mostly forgotten, especially the women’s suffrage struggle for the vote.

After coming to live on Lamb Island nearly a decade ago, Deborah facilitated a project to digitalise the 1890’s women’s suffrage petitions now available on the Parliament website.

She hopes readers will enjoy reading the Palmers’ courtship correspondence before their marriage in 1914 as much as she did when selecting some of them to form a story.

She says: 'Reading these moving and tender letters is a timely reminder of the enduring nature of love, the value of partnership, and the importance of engaging with the world' writes Julianne Schultz in response to Loving Words; Love Letters of Nettie and Vance Palmer 1909-1914.

Vance Palmer was born and grew up in Queensland, and for a while lived with his family at Cleveland and often sailed in the bay.

These are his letters to his wife-to-be. Hers from Melbourne, later Europe, were also saved and together they form the basis of this selection. They went on to be important Australian writers.

Deborah Jordan’s Loving Words is her first book published with Brandl & Schlesinger.

For further details see

• Deb Jordan at a book event (INSET - her book)

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