- 18 March 1892
- 2 February 1969
Concord, New South Wales, Australia
- Alternative Names
- Chapman, Ernest (Birth name)
Hatfield was born at Nottingham, England, and educated locally before joining a solicitor's office as an articled clerk. He came to Australia in 1912 and commenced travelling in the outback, working on stations and immersing himself in bush life. He spent time in Aboriginal communities and studied their languages. He began writing fiction based on his experiences and, after many of his earlier works were rejected, published his novel Sheepmates in 1931. Another seven novels followed, as well as short stories, two autobiographies, children's fiction, and travel narratives. Desert Saga (1933) is remembered as his most significant work.