Author Joan Lindsay and Picnic at Hanging Rock

Home of the famous writer, Joan Lindsay, Mullbery Hill, contains many items related to the creation of her now classic novel.

Joan Lindsay (1896 – 1984) was born into a prominent artistic dynasty – the Boyds – and married into another. Her husband was the artist and inaugural president the National Trust in Victoria Sir Daryl Lindsay.

Initially intent on a career in art, she studied at the National Gallery of Victoria School between 1916 and 1920 and, although she painted throughout her life, writing was her main creative pursuit.

Lindsay’s fame as an author culminated with Picnic at Hanging Rock. Written in only four weeks at her home, Mulberry Hill, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, it was first published in 1967. Set on St.Valentines Day in 1900, it tells of a group of students at at school for young ladies who vanish whilst visiting Hanging Rock. The the novel became part of the Australian literary canon and was made into an equally iconic Australian film in 1975.

The National Trust’s custodianship of Mullberry Hill, the home she shared with her husband, contains many objects related to the writing, publishing and filming of this famous novel.

Joan Lindsay collected antique St. Valentines Day cards, an interest that began after she inherited an album from her parents. Included in her collection are the original cards used as props by actors in the film version.

"Whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction, my readers must decide for themselves. As the fateful picnic took place in 1900 and all the characters who appear are long since dead, it hardly seems important."

Joan Lindsay, 1967.

Joan Lindsay's Studio at Mulberry Hill

Typewriter. Hermes 'Baby' brand, c. 1950.

Used by Joan Lindsay to type her manuscript of Picnic at Hanging Rock in 1967.

Collins Graphic Dictionary

At Mulberry Hill Joan Lindsay and her husband, Daryl Lindsay, created studios in which to write and paint. Joan Lindsay’s studio includes her writing paraphernalia, such as the dictionary, originally belonging to her father.

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