Nordmann was born in Landersdorf as the illegitimate son of a vintner's daughter and brought up by a foster mother
in Krems where he attended the local Gymnasium school and, until 1866, bore the surname Rumpelmayer.
He moved to Vienna in 1839 as a university student and turned to literature studies that brought him into contact
with the great literary figures of the time. For two years from 1843, He became a private tutor in the house of
Baron Badenfeld and acted as companion to the son in his travels.
He returned to Vienna but was compelled to move to Dresden and subsequently, Leipzig, after encountering conflicts
with the censors; but he returned to Vienna in 1848 where he recommenced a journalistic career. He was forced
briefly to seek refuge in Dresden once more, however, before returning again to Vienna to launch the soon to be
prohibited magazine, Die Zeit.
After several visits abroad, he became from 1862- 1869 editor and publisher of Der Wanderer in which he published
several well regarded articles about his Sunday country walks. From 1869 he published several articles for the
Freie Neue Presse on a similar theme, Unterwegs (En Route or Travels), and the resulting publication in book
form ensured a place for him as a travel writer.
His publications of poems and other prose works led to his twice being elected president of the literary association,
Concordia, which led to honorary membership of the copyright forerunner, Association Litteraire et Artistique
Internationale, and Offiziere de l'instruction in Paris.
His marriage (date unknown) resulted in at least one daughter, Camilla. His poem, Kling Leise, Mein Lied, was set
to music by Franz Liszt.
He died in Vienna.