Norman Lindsay i(261 works by) (birth name: Norman Alfred William Lindsay) (a.k.a. N. L.)
Also writes as: Charles Partridge ; James Flack ; James Cunninghame
Born: Established: 22 Feb 1879 Creswick, Creswick area, Creswick - Daylesford area, Ballarat - Bendigo area, Victoria, ; Died: Ceased: 21 Nov 1969 Springwood, Blue Mountains, Sydney, New South Wales,
Gender: Male
AustLit is a subscription service. The content and services available here are limited because you have not been recognised as a subscriber. Find out how to gain full access to AustLit


Norman Lindsay was born in 1879 at Creswick, Victoria. He was educated at local schools, but, at sixteen, he joined his brother, Lionel, in Melbourne. Here he worked as a journalistic artist and actively participated in the bohemian life of 1890s Melbourne. In the first decades of the twentieth century Lindsay worked as a cartoonist for the Bulletin and illustrated other works before several controversial exhibitions brought him notoriety. The sexual explicitness of his paintings was condemned by "wowsers", but the paintings were praised by others for their technical brilliance. In 1911 Lindsay moved with his second wife, Rose, to the Blue Mountains where he lived for the remainder of his life. His property at Springwood became a magnet for writers and artists who sought conversation with a man widely regarded as a genius.

Lindsay is best-known for his visual art, but he is also admired for the fiction, poetry and philosophical writing which he often regarded as a hobby. His Redheap trilogy, based on his early experiences in Creswick is admired for the comedy and satire in its social observations. However, his preoccupation with the importance of sexual self-expression in this and other fiction is often regarded as a distraction. Perhaps Lindsay's best-known work is the children's book of comic verse, The Magic Pudding (1918), which continues to sell and has been adapted to stage and screen. Lindsay also wrote several books to affirm his philosophy of creativity, drawing on the works of Plato, Rabelais and Nietzsche; and published a collection of reminiscences entitled Bohemians of the Bulletin (1965).

Norman Lindsay is acknowledged as a considerable influence on many significant Australian writers and artists, including R. D. Fitzgerald, Hugh McCrae, Kenneth Slessor, Kenneth Mackenzie and Douglas Stewart (qq.v). In preparation for the presentation of his property to the National Trust, he painted prolifically up to his death in 1969.


  • Norman Lindsay was included in the Bulletin's '100 Most Influential Australians' list in 2006.

Awards for Works

The Magic Pudding : Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and His Friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff 1918 single work children's fiction children's humour satire "The adventures of two koalas, a penguin, an old sailor and a cantankerous walking, talking pudding that is vulnerable to thieves."
2004 YABBA Hall of Fame
Last amended 8 Dec 2011
See Also
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: