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Redheap is a novel by Norman Lindsay. It is a story of life in a country town in Victoria, Australia in the 1890s. Lindsay portrays real characters struggling with the social restrictions of the day. Snobbery and wowserism are dominant themes.


The central character is Robert Piper, a nineteen-year-old man engaging in love affairs with the publican's daughter and the parson's daughter next door. In an attempt to prevent him falling into immorality and dragging the family along with him, Piper's mother arranges for him to be tutored by Mr Bandparts, a recovering alcoholic school teacher. The arrangement soon backfires and Mr Bandparts is soon drinking beer with his young pupil and chasing the corpulent barmaid at the Royal Hotel.

The reader is introduced to the rest of the Piper family: Mr Piper, a draper who continuously measures objects to calm his mind; his eldest son Henry who has high hopes of taking over the business one day; the awful oldest daughter Hetty and her domineering ways in the drawing room, and her attempts to control the family morals and standing; Ethel the quiet younger daughter who uses her shyness to cover her various seductions of young men around town; and Grandpa Piper, who made the family fortunes only to be treated with contempt by the rest of the family in his dotage (his small acts of revenge make some of the most comic moments of the book).

The book was banned for 28 years after it was first published in 1930.[1]

Television adaptation[edit]

Written by Eleanor Witcombe
Directed by Brian Bell
Starring Peter Flett
Michael Boddy
Pamela Stephenson
Norman Yemm
June Salter
Kate Fitzpatrick
Country of origin Australia
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 3
Producer(s) Alan Burke
Original network ABC
Original release 1972

The novel was optioned for the movies in the 1930s for £1,000 but no movie was made.[2]

The novel was adapted into a mini series by the ABC in 1972.[3][4]


  1. ^ Darby, Robert (November 2013). "The Banning of Sober Facts about an Inflammatory Fiction". Labour History (105): 171–185. doi:10.5263/labourhistory.105.0171. 
  2. ^ "Film Industry In Australia.". The News. Adelaide: National Library of Australia. 11 June 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970-1995, Oxford Uni Press, 1996 p225
  4. ^ "CLEVER CASTING.". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. 18 October 1972. p. 10. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 

External links[edit]