Talk:Picnic at Hanging Rock (novel)

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Former good article nomineePicnic at Hanging Rock (novel) was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There may be suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
June 11, 2017Good article nomineeNot listed
August 19, 2017Good article nomineeNot listed
Current status: Former good article nominee

Reference to film synopsis[edit]

the synopsis refers to a "far more detailed synopsis" on the film entry, however the film entry currently has no synopsis at all.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:09, 22 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Whadderyameen the article doesn't site a reference? The book is a reference, innit? Captainbeefart 12:54, 13 September 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Removal of Trivia/Fact[edit]

please englighten me, does the trivia on this, follow your justification (rvt: trivia sections aren't encyclopædic). NeoDeGenero 18:53, 16 June 2006 (UTC) Since there is no reply for more than a month, i am putting it back in. (NeoDeGenero 14:56, 27 July 2006 (UTC))Reply[reply]

I don't know why they would have removed that, I think it's a great bit of trivia. Don't bits of trivia usually have a Trivia sub-heading though, rather than an Interesting Fact subheading?Dw290 14:23, 16 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It was removed because trivia sections are un-encyclopædic and should be removed. It is folly to cite a similarly underdeveloped article as reason to retain an un-necessary section.--cj | talk 02:13, 17 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you need to expand your views on what is and isn't encyclopedic in this newly evolving online media. Speaking of folly in citing other articles, your own hyperlinked article is an essay, not a policy; that is yours or some person's opinion. personaly, if there is interest, and somebody wants a trivia section, what's the big deal? please don't sit there and lecture me or others on what you think is or isn't encyclopedic. you're acting like a trivia-nazi. --Joe_Volcano71.198.147.17 19:57, 13 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are incorrect. It is a guideline with wide approval, not an essay as you falsely purport. Whether you like it or not, Wikipedia is an encyclopædia, and has set ideas about what it is not. And that you are resorting to ad hominen indicates to me that your argument is already lost.--cj | talk 13:36, 16 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then if you be so kind, please incorporate that little piece of information into the article somehow. I mean, what is the use of that information not available on Wikipedia, if everyone who studied the book were told that the author mucked up the date [/sarcasm] Ps. Dw290, i had it as a Trivia subheading, until it was removed. (NeoDeGenero 15:38, 10 March 2007 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Link to Time Warp[edit]

The link time warp points to an article on the Rocky Horror Picture Show dance. The relevance escapes me, please enlighten.

  • I've changed the link to one more suitable.

Daydream believer2 July 8, 2005 14:42 (UTC)

Historical Inspiration?[edit]

This article is written as if the book/film were a work of fiction. As I understand it however, it's based (I don't know how closely) upon a true event. Can anyone confirm this? jmd 07:01, 17 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • It isn't based on a historical event in any way. -Branddobbe 08:33, 17 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • However, lest we get confused, the book does begin with a statment claiming the book is based on a possibly true event. Lindsay attempted to, and for years succeeded, make the reader question whether or not it had happened. Daydream believer2 09:43, 17 September 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I was under the impression, and was taught in high school, that the book was inspired by the Beaumont children Beaumont_children_disappearance. The timing seems right, however I'm not sure if this is a rumor or if there is merit to it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 29 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Somebody keeps on reversing any changes indicating that this book is fictitious. Kindly stop that. It may be amusing to some people to maintain an entertaining lie, but Wikipedia is not the place for it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 26 September 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This article from the Daily Telegraph claims that the story may have a basis in historical events, but is rather suspiciously sketchy on details: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:41, 19 November 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I removed the following paragraph because it's unclear whether the details refer only to the film or to the book and the film. Someone familiar with both should clarify this. The Singing Badger 03:13, 19 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In real life, Lindsay was well known for her abhorrence of clocks -- she would not permit them in her home, and she titled her autobiography Time Without Clocks. The date of the picnic -- St. Valentine's Day, 1900 -- suggests a number of mystical and religious referents; the coachman's watch stops just as the party reaches the rock; just before the girls vanish, Irma hears a far-off sound, which suggests that she is hearing the sound of the searchers beating sticks on sheets of tin -- an event that does not take place until hours after the girls disappear. Edith also later recalls that she saw a reddish cloud through the trees of the rock, as she was fleeing down the rock. In the film, just before Miss McCraw sets off to find the girls, she is shown reading from a mathematics book, which is opened to a diagram depicting a number of interlocking geometrical figures.

Apparently, Joan Lindsay loved clocks. I read that she had a whole wall of them in her house, none operating, and all showing different times. --Natalex (talk) 12:36, 18 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I pretty sure there should be some sort of symbolism section, which there normally is in many book articles. Hillhead15 14:38, 24 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article should be about the novel only since it's a separate thing from the film, so I'm changing the article accordingly, tell me if you disagree.

There, changed the article around a little, added a few things and removed some others, but most importantly I separated this book article from the already existing one about the film (left the film paragraph in though). The article still needs fixing up and sources though. --Hst20 06:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Spoiler Warning[edit]

I also added a spoiler warning about the plot. Now I know this might be the wrong thing to do, but in this case I felt that one was necessary since the plot section is so short. It goes from the beginning to revealing the entire end in two sentences. Now since there are sources on the plot that's at least an easy edit, if I'm up for it soon or for anyone else, but until then I feel the spoiler warning is justified, anyone agree? --Hst20 06:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fair use rationale for Image:Picnic at Haning Rock (book).jpg[edit]

Image:Picnic at Haning Rock (book).jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to ensure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 14:49, 8 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Musical adaptations[edit]

I've deleted references to musical adaptations of the novel: none of the the writers are notable enough to have their own Wikipedia pages, and at least one of the references is a Wordpress blog, which isn't a credible source. The details of the British adaptation were pretty spammy, and I suspect they were copied and pasted from a press release, possibly in an attempt at free advertising (they were also very out of date) ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 17:26, 12 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm okay with this deletion but for the record I think the reasoning given here is shaky. The fact that the writers don't have Wikipedia pages isn't particularly relevant. And as to the second adaptation (by Zaitchik) there are quite a few more credible recent sources that can be found easily through Google search. However, it appears that that adaptation still hasn't had a full professional production so it's still of doubtful notability. Mrhsj (talk) 20:43, 12 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Picnic at Hanging Rock (film) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RM bot 19:00, 8 May 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Picnic at Hanging Rock (novel)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Sagecandor (talk · contribs) 01:44, 11 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This one, for review, I shall take. Sagecandor (talk) 01:44, 11 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Failed "good article" nomination[edit]

This article has failed its Good article nomination. This is how the article, as of June 11, 2017, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Not sure why there are full citations in the lede, per WP:LEADCITE, unless there are truly serious controversial claims, no need for this here. Or maybe direct quotes. Or writer's preference. Blah. But anyways name the references and move the full cites themselves out of the lede and into the body.
2. Verifiable?: Sorry, have to "quick fail" here. I see two "citations needed" tags that have sat on the page for over two months now. Those need to be addressed.
3. Broad in coverage?: Suggest merging sections publication history and critical analysis to just call it one big section, "Release and reception".
4. Neutral point of view?: Concerns about WP:No original research raised in edit summary by user that placed the "citation needed" tags.
5. Stable?: Article is stable since the "citation needed" tags.
6. Images?: One fair use image in infobox is okay. Two free use images are appropriately licensed.

Gotta get on those "citation needed" tags, disappointing to see those sit unaddressed on the page for over two months.

When these issues are addressed, the article can be renominated. If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to have it reassessed. Thank you for your work so far.— Sagecandor (talk) 16:53, 11 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Sagecandor:: I have addressed the concerns raised here, primarily the citations in the lede section, as well as the original research which I have extracted as it is non-verifiable. Given this, I think the article is in good enough shape to re-nominate. --Drown Soda (talk) 21:43, 14 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, sounds like a smart plan, good luck ! Sagecandor (talk) 21:45, 14 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would like to hear what Sadads thinks as user that originally placed the tags. Sagecandor (talk) 21:45, 14 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The particular things I had tagged are fixed, I added on more cn -- which I think would help a lot in terms of WP:V. For such a recent novel, I also find the Critical Analysis section lacking, and not up to the standard that many of our GA articles have. I think this is rather significant (and rather odd) considering the claim to broad interest, and analysis: also those two last paragraphs are odd bits to emphasis. That alone, suggests to me some significant gaps in the content, in terms of breadth of coverage. Sadads (talk) 22:09, 14 June 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Sadads: I find it odd that you'd assume a more recent novel would have more critical or scholarly analysis available—the reverse is actually the case with most literature in academia. Some recent novels (c. 20th century onward) do have a fair amount of scholarly work written about them, but this is not typically the case, especially with something such as Picnic at Hanging Rock which has not been quite so widely read, at least internationally speaking—it has a following more than anything, and a small group of scholars who have written about it, but most of the attention has fallen on the film instead. Long story short, my point is that the relative "newness" of a literary work does not neatly correspond to the amount of scholarly work written on it. --Drown Soda (talk) 06:43, 20 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not asking for scholarship, but rather for book reviews or reception from the same period of time. If you are going to include the claim " is considered by many critics to be one of the most important Australian novels of all time." Then, there needs to be sufficent evidence of such -- that the novel had significant criticism about it. Otherwise, that section places WP:UNDO on the particular opinions of the two scholars, which can't actually be backed by a consensus opinion.Sadads (talk) 13:19, 20 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

'... considered by many critics to be one of the most important Australian novels of all time.[25][26]'- citations do not support this claim.[edit]

The two citations (25, 26) don't relate to critics' opinions or importance of the novel at all- they only relate to the book's inclusion on lists of popular books as voted by readers, from MammaMia and from Tuesday BookClub viewers. This sentence is also in the first section of the article too, so it's worth fixing both. I've checked several of the other references for this article and can't find any of them supporting the claim for critical importance for the novel either. (There is evidence for critical importance of the film though.)

As it stands, the sentence could be reworded to something like 'Picnic at Hanging Rock has been listed as one of the Top 10 most popular Australian novels, as voted by readers' with citations 25, 26 then providing evidence. However, It won't make sense to have that as the first sentence in the 'Critical Analysis' section.

I see that the reviewer who provided feedback on the failed 'good article' nomination has suggested combining the Critical Analysis and Publication History sections into one new Release and Reception section. The correction of this sentence would make sense in that context. I don't know how to combine sections, but I can fix just this sentence and move it to end of section, if no one else gets onto it in the meantime. Jbo9995 (talk) 13:32, 4 July 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Picnic at Hanging Rock (novel)/GA2. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Ribbet32 (talk · contribs) 20:35, 11 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Well-written:
  • 1a Generally good. WP:LQ move punctuation outside of quotation marks. Under Theatre, US should be U.S. per WP:NOTUSA 1b Needs organizational overhaul. Although "Excised final chapter" can remain a subsection in Plot (though bolding should be removed), its first and third paras should be moved to Publication history, which as stands is a skimpy one-para section. Last para of Conception should also be moved to Publication history. Basis in reality, minus Local tourism, should be a subsection of Conception. Local tourism and Critical analysis can be joined as subsection of a Reception section, which can start off with the note that it is a popular Australian novel, per User:Jbo9995 on talk. Reception should go after Conception and Publication, according to chronology. Radio and Miniseries sections are very short, can they be combined as "Broadcasting" or simply "Radio and television"? "noted" in last para of Local tourism is a WP:WORDSTOWATCH. Just say "said"

  • Verifiable with no original research
      2a Fact tag in Excised final chapter must be addressed. First para of Theatre entirely unreferenced. Additionally, we have a conflicting reference format. It's good Template:Sfn is used for many of the book refs, but it's not used for all of them (Lindsay, Rousseau) 2b See User:Jbo9995 on talk. Also, Ref 14 doesn't support "many interviews", it's what she said to Weir. Ref 16 does not support assertion college is based on Clyde Girls' Grammar School. Ref 20 doesn't support that people yell "Miranda!", only that people are being asked not to (via a T-shirt). Steele quote in Analysis needs cleaning, as it's not clear where the quoting begins and ends 2c. Not concerned about OR, if issues 2a and b are addressed. 2d. Copyright concerns:
      Lede: "as though it is a true story" could easily be "as an actual historical incident"
      Local tourism: "dioramas, videos, panels and soundtracks"- "various exhibits and audio and video" will do.
  • Broad in its coverage:
    1. 3a. Fairly broad coverage 3b. Not a lot off topic
  • Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without editorial bias, giving due weight to each.
  • 4. To the extent that any "controversy" exists, discussion is balanced. 5. As noted in last GAN, no edit wars taking place

  • Illustrated, if possible, by media such as images, video, or audio
  • 6. Ditto last GAN.

    For what it's worth, I think the claim that this book is "considered by many critics to be one of the most important Australian novels of all time" is not adequately supported by the two sources cited: [1][2], which are merely two lists of "top books you should read" by two media organizations. Unless better sources are presented, I would rephrase this sentence to a more neutral summary, such as Picnic at Hanging Rock has been listed on lists of "must-read" Australian novels by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Mamamia. Mz7 (talk) 17:48, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Already cited that point twice. Ribbet32 (talk) 18:08, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ah whoops, I see that now. In that case, I agree with your assessment of it. Mz7 (talk) 18:22, 12 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Closing comments Failing this nomination as 7 days have passed since went on hold; nominator has edited during this time period, and has been notified [3], and re-notified [4], and re-re-notified, and told it might be closed, [5] but hasn't even responded, or attempted to address even the easiest concerns. So, second failure. You're welcome for my time and review, I guess. Ribbet32 (talk) 04:20, 19 August 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Sara a suicide?[edit]

    Mrs. Appleyard had threatened Sara with removal to an orphanage because of her guardian's failure to pay Sara's tuition and school fees. When school staff and students returned from church one Sunday, Mrs. Appleyard lied and said that Sara's guardian had come for Sara that morning. When the gardener finds Sara's body on the ground next to the school's gardens, directly beneath a tower, days later, not only is Sara in a nightdress "soaked with dried blood" but her "head was crushed beyond recognition." The latter seems strongly indicative of Sara's having committed suicide by having jumped from the school's tower. (There is a scene in which Mrs. Appleyard, searching in Miranda's and Sara's room, recalls Sara saying to her "No, no! Not that! Not the orphanage!") But it does seem odd that Mrs. Appleyard, apparently aware that Sara had jumped that Sunday morning, and knowing then full well that the body would soon be discovered, would be silent for days about the death. I found myself wondering whether Sara had instead been spirited off the premises that Sunday morning, and somehow murdered and placed in the garden. But I think the evidence is strong for suicide. For example, there is an earlier scene in which Dora Lumley finds Sara curled up behind the door of the staircase leading to the tower, "wretched" and "snivelling," having been threatened not long before by Mrs. Appleyard with "other arrangements" because of Mr. Cosgrove's failure to pay. And Mrs. Appleyard had found and destroyed a "note" (presumably a suicide note) in Sara's and Miranda's room.

    DonaldMWright (talk) 08:41, 30 April 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    The 'final chapter' - a fake chapter?[edit]

    I find it extraordinary that some text, published several years after Joan Lindsay's death, is easily attributed to her literary heritage without due scrutiny. I am talking about this 'secret chapter' that several sources attribute to Lindsay without the slightest evidence. Yes, a little booklet was published in 1987, and the publisher - with his clear financial interest - claimed that it was originally written by Lindsay. But why would Wikipedia accept this as 'fact'? There is NO material evidence. There is NO manuscript, NO annotated typoscript, NO diary entry, NO correspondence with the publisher, NO copyright transfer, NO notary document, NO last will stipulating what should be done with that chapter - there's NOTHING. Let alone a credible source.

    In the mean time, we KNOW that Lindsay was a fierce advocate of her novel being open-ended. There's a tangible revulsion at the idea that her novel would have some 'logical' ending. Lindsay claims to have written 'Picnic' as en open-ended story, much like 'The Turning of the Screw'. A 'final chapter' with a resolution of the mystery would blow Lindsay's architecture of her most beloved novel.

    I suggest that the wording in the Wikipedia lemma be adapted, so that it reflects the present uncertainty of the origin of 'The Secret of Hanging Rock'. Any decision on this, pro or contra, will affect the literary heritage of one of Australia's greatest literary authors. I propose that we tread carefully here.Mcouzijn (talk) 03:51, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Has the authenticity of the "secret final chapter" been debated in WP:RELIABLE sources? Muzilon (talk) 08:14, 26 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, it hasn't. Mcouzijn (talk) 20:30, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

    Donald Barrett, not Donald Bartlett[edit]

    Consider please this passage from the article: In 1987, literary scholar Donald Bartlett drew comparisons between Lindsay's treatment of the rock and that of the fictitious Marabar Caves in E. M. Forster's A Passage to India, which has been interpreted as a metaphor for Pan, the Greek god of the wild: "There is more, of course, to A Passage to India than Pan motifs, for example symbols such as the snake, the wasp and the undying worm, not to mention the vast panorama of India's religions. But I believe it probable that Joan Lindsay consciously borrowed the elements [from A Passage to India]."[1]

    Does anyone know anything about the literary author Donald Barrett (who is misidentified as Donald Bartlett)? It evidently isn't the same as this one Donald Bartlett2603:6010:4E42:500:B037:9083:307B:5B18 (talk) 05:10, 15 September 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]


    1. ^ Barrett, Donald (1987). "Picnicking with E.M. Forster, Joan Lindsay et al". Linq. James Cook University. 5 (1): 79–86. closed access