Redheap, also published as Every Mother's Son, is a 1930 novel by Norman Lindsay.[citation needed] 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. In 1930 it became the first Australian novel to be banned in Australia.[2] The novel forms the first part of a trilogy (together with Saturdee and Halfway to Anywhere).

1934 edition
AuthorNorman Lindsay
PublisherFaber and Faber[1]
Publication date
Publication placeAustralia
Pages317 pp.
Preceded byA Curate in Bohemia 
Followed byMiracles by Arrangement 

The novel was adapted for television in 1972.



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 in Australia for 28 (until 1958) years after it was first published in 1930.[3][4]

Proposed film


The novel was optioned for the movies in the 1930s for £1,000 but no movie was made.[5]

Television adaptation

Based onnovel by Norman Lindsay
Written byEleanor Witcombe
Directed byBrian Bell
StarringPeter Flett
Michael Boddy
Pamela Stephenson
Norman Yemm
June Salter
Kate Fitzpatrick
Country of originAustralia
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes3
ProducerAlan Burke
Original release
Release27 October 1972 (1972-10-27)

The novel was adapted into a three-part mini series by the ABC in 1972.[6][7] It screened as part of Norman Lindsay Theatre on the ABC, where works for Lindsay were screened over nine weeks. Three of the weeks were devoted to Redheap.[8]




  1. ^ "Lindsay Writes of Amours and, Small-Town Life". The Sun. No. 6033 (LAST RACE ed.). Sydney. 12 March 1930. p. 1. Retrieved 26 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ Gilling, Tom (16–17 April 2016). "Lindsay film fell in a Redheap". Weekend Australian. p. Inquirer, p. 19.
  3. ^ Darby, Robert (November 2013). "The Banning of Sober Facts about an Inflammatory Fiction". Labour History (105): 171–185. doi:10.5263/labourhistory.105.0171.
  4. ^ ""REDHEAP" BANNED". The Argus. No. 26, 137. Melbourne. 22 May 1930. p. 7. Retrieved 26 July 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "Film Industry In Australia". The News. Adelaide. 11 June 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 17 March 2015 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Ed. Scott Murray, Australia on the Small Screen 1970–1995, Oxford University Press, 1996 p225
  7. ^ "CLEVER CASTING". The Australian Women's Weekly. 18 October 1972. p. 10. Retrieved 29 July 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ ""LANE END" should please "Bellbird" fans". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 39, no. 28. 8 December 1971. p. 10. Retrieved 9 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.