17 June 2010
Forgotten Book: THE SECRET OF HANGING ROCK, Joan Lindsay
This week's contribution to Pattinase's Friday's Forgotten Books
We all know the title PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK mainly because of the Peter Weir film made of it in 1975.
PICNIC AT HANGING ROCK tells the story of a school picnic that took place at the Hanging Rock on Valentine's Day 1900. Three girls and their teacher disappeared without trace. See more details about the film in particular on Wikipedia.
You may not know the title THE SECRET OF HANGING ROCK. This is apparently the final chapter that should have been in the original book by Joan Lindsay (1896-1984) published in 1967.
THE SECRET OF HANGING ROCK was first published in Australia by Angus & Robertson Publishers on St. Valentine's Day in 1987 (after Joan Lindsay's death). This publication has a chapter titled ‘Chapter Eighteen’ that is supposedly the original last chapter of ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’. This was “removed” before the original novel was published and its “existence” was not widely known about until 1987.
I apparently read it at the end of 1987.
I have no real memory of the book but this makes interesting commentary:
The actual chapter ran to just twelve pages set in large type. By adding an introduction by John Taylor and a commentary by Yvonne Rousseau, the finished booklet stretched to 64 pages. Named The Secret of Hanging Rock , it sold for A$7.95 in a sealed envelope. more
Trailer for the Peter Weir film