He was the father of the Flemish author Lia Timmermans, who wrote the book about him titled 'Zo was mijn vader' in 1951.
He was an autodidact, and wrote plays, historical novels, religious works, and poems.
Timmermans was born in the Belgian city of Lier, as the thirteenth of fourteen children.
He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature three times.
Timmermans also wrote under the pen-name Polleke van Mher.
He was a painter and drawer as well as an author.
During the first years of the Second World War, Timmermans was editor of the Flemish nationalist Volk. He also attended meetings of the Europäische Schriftsteller-Vereinigung (European Writers' League), which was initiated by Joseph Goebbels. Because of this, and because of the Rembrandt prize he received in 1942 from the University of Hamburg, he was wrongly seen as a collaborator, which may have caused health problems and premature death.