Rowland Sinclair is the main and title character of Sulari Gentill's Rowland Sinclair Mysteries.

Family Edit

Father: Edit

Henry Sinclair

Brothers: Edit

Wilfred Sinclair

Aubrey Sinclair

Biography Edit

Early Life Edit

Rowland, born in 1905, is the youngest son of Henry Sinclair. In 1920 he is expelled form the King's School in Parramatta and sent abroad to England.

Abroad Edit

In England, Rowland attends Oxford to read languages.

Rowland spends the summer of 1927 in Berlin and Paris. Here he has a few lovers.

Return Edit

In November or December in 1927, Rowland returns to Sydney after eight years abroad, where he takes up residence in Woodlands House.

Before living in Sydney he spends the first few months at Oaklea trying to rekindle the relationship he shared with Wilfred when he was a boy. However, to his dismay he finds that too many years have passed and he and Wilfred now seem fundamentally at odds. After a fierce row over some obscure political point, Rowland retreats from Oaklea to Woodlands House in Sydney, in an attempt to escape the straightjacket of propriety and responsibility that comes with being a Sinclair.

The Prodigal Son Edit

After a month in Sydney, Andrew Longmore visits Rowland. Rowland is unsure at this time if he is an artist. He wasn't eight years ago, when Longmore knew him but he does paint. Longmore suggests Rowland join the Sydney Art School with him, however Rowland is not so sure he is going to stay in Sydney. He doesn't think he belongs there anymore and would rather live anywhere else than Woodland House.

After discussing it, Rowland decides it wouldn't hurt to take a few lessons to pass the time, and then, perhaps, go to Paris with Longmore, so he agrees. For the next six weeks he attends Sydney Art School, several times a day. Despite being untrained, or maybe because of it, Rowland takes every class possible. He absorbs advice, atmosphere and criticism, even if it is harsh.

To Rowland, drawing isn't a diligence and he is fascinated by the work of mark making, finding it difficult to focus his mind elsewhere. He stays at his easel long into the evening, while other students are drinking, dancing or debating the meaning of life and art, because he wants to. Longmore accuses him of being shy and priggish, thinking Rowland is hesitant due to elitism. However, Rowland is hesitant because he doesn't feel he has yet mastered his craft enough not to feel ashamed around other artists.

At the studio one morning he sets up his easel and clips a large white sheet of cartridge into place, while he waits for the class to begin. Rowland is completely unaware of the reason for Longmore's uneasiness.

He soon realises it's cause when Edna Higgins walks in. He is entranced and doesn't even notice what she is wearing until she lets her robe drop and he realises that was all she was wearing. Ashton asks them to do sketches from one minute poses. When Ashton asks her to change, Edna shifts her weight and moves her hands. Rowland realises that everyone around him is working. He only manages to pick up a stick of charcoal when Edna changes again. He is embarrassed when Ashton points this out to him and the whole class. After the fourth pose he forces himself to make some marks on the paper, finding the line quickly and precisely. He creates impressionistic sketches that identify centre of gravity and capture movement and tension. When Ashton assess his work at the end, he discovers that Rowland alone among the students drew the model face on. He had not retreated from the image in any way. He had captured a hint of a smile on Edna's lips and an almost wicked gleam in her eyes. The portrait, despite this, is more whimsical than mocking. Ashton approves of it. He notes that it might be time to teach Rowland to paint.

Physical Appearance Edit

Rowland has dark blue eyes and dark hair.

Personality Edit

Possessions Edit

Rowland usually carries a slim leather bound notebook with him, mostly in the inside breast pocket of his jacket. He uses it to make quick drawings in anticipation of painting. He often has an artist's pencil in the spine of his notebook.

Relationships Edit

Henry Sinclair Edit

Even eight years after his death, Rowland still carries an old defiance against his father, symbolises by his portrait at Woodlands House, which makes him uncomfortable after his return in 1928.

Wilfred Sinclair Edit

On Rowland's return from abroad he spends a few months living with his brother to try and renew the friendship they had when Rowland was a boy. As a child he had seen Wilfred as a hero, but in 1927 he discovers he and Wilfred are fundamentally at odds.

Edna Higgins Edit

The first time Rowland sees her his breath is caught in his chest. Once she begins nude modelling for him he is unsure of how to begin with what he views as a creature, undeniably alive, beyond classical perfection. The first time he draws her, she locks him with her eyes and renders him useless. After a minute or two he is again reprimanded by Ashton for not drawing, although, Ashton notes to the class, he is looking in the right direction. Edna seems to be assumed at his expense, which Rowland finds enchanting.

As he continues to draw her everything recedes but Edna. Drawing her seems to be the most natural thing in the world

Behind the Scenes Edit

Appearances Edit