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Hatfield, William (1892 - 1969)


18 March 1892
Nottingham, England
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.

Published resources


  • Hatfield, William, Sheepmates, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1931, 280 pp. Details
  • Hatfield, William, Ginger Murdoch, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1932, 268 pp. Details
  • Hatfield, William, Christmastown, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1932, 62 pp. Details
  • Hatfield, William, Desert Saga, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1933, 250 pp. Details
  • Hatfield, William, River Crossing, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1934, 233 pp. Details
  • Hatfield, William, Black waterlily, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1935, 280 pp. Details
  • Hatfield, William, Into the (Great?) Unfenced, Popular Publications, South Melbourne, 1940, 311 pp. Details

See also

Rachael Weaver