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Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Joan Lindsay

List price $12.52

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 192mm x 14mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 6 July 1998
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099750619
  • ISBN 13: 9780099750611
  • Sales rank: 29,431

Product description

It was a cloudless summer day in the year nineteen hundred. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three of the girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared. They never returned. Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the reader must decide for themselves.

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Author information

Joan Lindsay was born in Melbourne, where she went to school as a day-girl for a few years at Clyde Girls Grammar, then situated in East St Kilda. She knew and loved the Macedon district from early childhood. In 1922 in London she married Sir Daryl Lindsay. The Lindsays travelled together in Europe and the USA, Daryl with his paints and Joan with her typewriter. Sir Daryl died in 1976. Joan lived at their country home on the Mornington Peninsula, Mulberry Hill, Victoria, Australia. She died in December 1984.

Customer reviews

By Nadine Whitney 03 Apr 2010 4

A much more cruel book than I had remembered, my memory of the novel being tinged by the wonderful and mysterious Peter Weir film.

On Valentine's Day 1900 a group of Australian schoolgirls and two of their teachers set out for a picnic at the picturesque Hanging Rock. During the hazy and lazy day three students and one teacher go missing whilst exploring the rock. The aftermath of this event runs darkly through the novel, suggesting a malevolent presence that influences all the players of the story.

There is something fierce and nasty at work in the novel. Civilisation fails in the face of nature; both the ancient landscape and human society. The Appleyard students turn to rend apart the surviving girl from the rock and the iron-clad Mrs Appleyard turns to murder and suicide. In the face of an unsolvable mystery, Hanging Rock remains immutable and inscrutable in the phantasmagoric Australian landscape.

Joan Lindsay has created a superb story (especially if we forget the posthumous 18th chapter) that illuminates the clash between the civilised and the uncivilised - the uncomfortable and ultimately uselessness of trying to come to terms with the truly ungovernable and mysterious.

Review quote

It was a cloudless summer day in the year nineteen hundred. Everyone at Appleyard College for Young Ladies agreed it was just right for a picnic at Hanging Rock. After lunch, a group of three of the girls climbed into the blaze of the afternoon sun, pressing on through the scrub into the shadows of Hanging Rock. Further, higher, till at last they disappeared. They never returned. Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction the reader must decide for themselves.