MORE ABOUT ANTHONY'S BOOKS
Born in Melbourne in 1942, Anthony Hill was a newspaper journalist in Melbourne and Canberra before moving with his family to a country village in NSW where they ran an antique shop for five years. The experience formed the basis of his first two books, The Bunburyists and Antique Furniture in Australia. For more info go to Early Booksor click book covers on this page.
Anthony Hill’s first book for children, Birdsong, was published in 1988, followed in 1994 by his prize-winning novella The Burnt Stick illustrated by Mark Sofilas. The two combined again to produce Spindrift in 1996, and Forbidden in 2002. Between 1996-and 1999 Anthony published The Grandfather Clock and his collection, Growing Up & Other Stories. For more info go to First Success or click book covers on this page.
For 10 years Anthony Hill was a speech writer for the Governor-General, until retiring to concentrate full-time on his own writing. His biographical novel, Soldier Boy, about the youngest known Anzac, was published in 2001 and won a NSW Premier’s Literary Award. The companion book Young Digger, appeared in 2002. It's about a French war orphan, Henri, adopted as a mascot by some Australian airmen and smuggled home in 1919. A new edition came out in 2016.
In March 2005 Penguin published Animal Heroes, a collection of 21 stories about the dogs, horses, pigeons, mascots and other animals that have served with Australia’s armed forces in peace and war from Gallipoli to the present. For more info go to Military Books or click book covers on this page.
Anthony has also written a number of animal stories. The Shadow Dog illustrated by Andrew McLean is the story of Anthony's own dog Sebastian. Harriet illustrated by Coral Tulloch, recreates the life of a 175-year-old Galapagos tortoise who lived for many years in Queensland. And Lucy’s Cat and the Rainbow Birds, illustrated by Jane Tanner, is about belling the family's own cat. For more info go to Animal Tails or click the book covers on this page.
The voyage from youth to adulthood is the theme of many Anthony's books. River Boy, illustrated by Donna Rawlins, is is a steam boat adventure for young readers. Part of the National Museum of Australia's 'Making Tracks' series, it was very much the practise piece for Anthony's new historical novel Captain Cook's Apprentice about on one the boys who sailed on Endeavour. Written with the assistance of a grant from the Australia Council, the book has been widely praised anda new edition was published in 2018 for the 250th anniversary of Cook's voyage in HMB Endeavour.
In recent years Anthony has been writing mainly for adult readers. His first book in this genre was The Story of Billy Young, a teenage POW in Changi, Sandakan and Outram Road prisons. It was followed in 2016 by For Love of Country, A true Australian family story of love, war the the ultimate sacrifice, about a soldier-settler family in Canberra between the Worst and Second World Wars.
Anthony followed that with an historical novel The Last Convict, about the last known transported convict to survive in Australia. He died in 1938 on the eve of the Second World War. The Last Convict was to have been published in 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic it has been postponed until 2021. Anthony is currently working on a companion book about Matthew Flinders and the circumnavigation of Australia 1801-03 in HMS Investigator, which he sees as a companion book to Captain Cook's Apprentice.