Fifty kilometres north-west of Melbourne is Hanging Rock. It is famous as the setting for Joan Lindsay’s book, ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock,’ which was first published in 1967 and is the story of the mysterious disappearance of several members of a group of school girls and a teacher on a Valentine’s Day visit to the rock in 1900.
An Australian classic, Lindsay’s book evocates an eerie sense of other worldliness that sits somewhere between supernatural horror and Victorian melodrama. Beautifully crafted the book conjures an image of the new white Australian settler struggling to adjust to the relentless heat and intensity of an Australian summer as well as the strange but beautifully haunting Australian landscape, while all the time steadfastly refusing to let go of traditions and values more suited to Victorian England than frontier Australia.
'Picnic at Hanging Rock: Fact or fiction?' by Australian journalist Tim Colebatch
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