Stephen Dando-Collins

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Author Stephen Dando-Collins

Stephen Dando-Collins is an award-winning Australian historical author and novelist, with books centred on Antiquity, American history, British history, Australian history, French history, World War One and World War Two. He is considered a world authority on the legions of ancient Rome, which he has studied and written about for decades: 'The legions' foremost living historian,' according to one critic.[1]

He also writes children's novels, the first of which, Chance in a Million, (Hodder Headline, Sydney, 1998), was filmed by PolyGram as Paws, starring Billy Connolly. In 2012, he launched the critically acclaimed Caesar the War Dog series of children's novels, based on the true stories of modern-day military dogs serving in Afghanistan and elsewhere, with the fifth in the series published in 2016.

He also contributes articles to various journals such as BBC History Magazine and Australian Heritage Magazine, and lectures about his books around the world.

Dando-Collins was born in the Tasmanian city of Launceston on May 1, 1950, and went to school in Hobart. As a teenager he played drums in several rock bands, and at the age of 19 he was co-founder and first secretary of the Van Diemen Light Railway Society, which went on to create the Don River Railway, outside Devonport, Tasmania, today one of Australia's largest steam preservation railways. Dando-Collins confesses to still having steam in the blood.

After working in advertising in Australia and Britain as a graphic designer, copywriter, creative director, and senior advertising agency executive, he became an independent marketing consultant in Sydney for several years. He ran the Australian operations of an American market research company before moving to Noosa Heads, and then to the Tamar Valley in Tasmania, where he writes full-time. He and his wife Louise, also an author, live in a former nunnery.

Dame Marie Bashir, then Governor of New South Wales, Louise Dando-Collins, Stephen Dando-Collins, and launcher Booker Prize-winning author Tom Keneally, at the Museum of Sydney launch of Stephen's Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny, 2007.

Pasteur's Gambit won Dando-Collins a 2009 Queensland Premier's Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary awards.

His work has been translated into a dozen languages around the world.

Dando-Collins and his wife founded the highly successful Festival of Golden Words in Tasmania's Tamar Valley, which has become the Tamar Valley Writers Festival.

Since his groundbreaking 2010 work Legions of Rome, (Quercus, London), Dando-Collins has focused on American World War I and World War II history and the biographies of Australians who have made a mark on the world stage. His New York literary agent has anounced that he will be making a return to Roman history in 2019.

His latest books include The Hero Maker, the first ever biography of Paul Brickhill, Australian-born author of The Great Escape, The Dam Busters, and Reach for the Sky, the story of legless fighter pilot Douglas Bader; The Big Break:The Greatest American WWII POW Escape Story Never Told; Mr Showbiz: The Biography of Robert Stigwood; and Heroes of Hamel: The Australians and Americans Whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare.

Says noted US military author Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman: 'Stephen Dando-Collins is a Cornelius Ryan, a Stephen Ambrose for a new generation.' [2]

website: [3]


  • Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome (Wiley, New York, 18 January 2002)
  • Nero's Killing Machine : The True Story of Rome's Remarkable 14th Legion (Wiley, Hoboken, 1 November 2004)
  • The Inquest (I-Books, New York, 22 February 2005)
  • Standing Bear Is a Person: The True Story of a Native American's Quest for Justice (Da Capo, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 30 September 2005)
  • Cleopatra's Kidnappers : How Caesar's Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar (Wiley, Hoboken, 28 October 2005)
  • Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor (Wiley, Hoboken, 1 November 2006)
  • Blood of the Caesars: How the Murder of Germanicus Led to the Fall of Rome (Wiley, Hoboken, 1 February 2008)
  • Captain Bligh's Other Mutiny: The True Story of the Military Coup That Turned Australia into a Two-Year Rebel Republic[4] (Random House, Sydney, 1 October 2007).
  • Tycoon's War: How Cornelius Vanderbilt Invaded a Country to Overthrow America's Most Famous Military Adventurer (Da Capo, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1 September 2008).
  • Pasteur's Gambit: Louis Pasteur, the Australasian Rabbit Plague & a Ten Million Dollar Prize[5](Random House, Sydney, 1 September 2008). Winner, 2009 Queensland Premier's Literary Award, Science category. Shortlisted, Victorian Premier's Literary Awards.
  • The Ides: Caesar's Murder and the War for Rome, (Wiley, Hoboken, 8 February 2010).
  • The Great Fire of Rome: The Fall of the Emperor Nero and His City. (Da Capo, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 7 September 2010).
  • Legions of Rome: The Definitive History of Every Imperial Roman Legion. (Quercus, London, 28 October 2010).
  • Crack Hardy: From Gallipoli to Flanders to the Somme, the True Story of Three Australian Brothers at War. (Random House, Sydney, 1 April 2011).
  • Taking Hawaii: How Thirteen Honolulu Businessmen Overthrew the Queen of Hawaii in 1893, With a Bluff. (E-Reads, New York, 24 April 2012).[6]
  • Caesar the War Dog, children's novel. (Random House, Sydney, 1 July 2012).
  • Mistaken Identity:The Trials of Joe Windred. (Random House, Sydney, 1 August 2012).
  • Caesar the War Dog, Operation Blue Dragon. (Random House, Sydney, 1 August 2013).
  • Sir Henry Parkes, the Australian Colossus. (Random House, Sydney, 1 October 2013).
  • Rise of an Empire: How One Man United Greece to Defeat Xerxes's Persians. (Wiley, Atlanta, 1 February 2014).
  • Tank Boys. (Random House, Sydney, 1 February 2014.)
  • Caesar the War Dog, Operation Pink Elephant. (Random House, Sydney, 1 August 2014.)
  • Caesar the War Dog, Operation Green Parrot. (Random House, Sydney, 2 January 2015.)
  • Operation Chowhound, the Most Risky, Most Glorious US Bomber Mission of World War 2. (Palgrave Macmillan,New York, 24 February 2015.)
  • Caesar the War Dog, Operation Black Shark. (Random House, Sydney, 4 January 2016 - US, May, 2016.)
  • The Hero Maker: A Biography of Paul Brickhill. (Penguin Random House, Sydney, 29 August 2016.)
  • The Big Break: The Greatest American WWII POW Escape Story Never Told. (St Martin's Press, New York, 2 January 2017.)
  • Mr Showbiz: The Biography of Robert Stigwood. (Penguin Random House, Sydney, 2 October 2017.)
  • Heroes of Hamel: The Australians and Americans Whose WWI Victory Changed Modern Warfare. (Peguin Random House, Sydney, 28 May 2018.)


  1. ^ Open Letters Monthly, USA, Sept 2012
  2. ^ Grossman, Lt Col Dave (August 2016). "'The Big Break'". 
  3. ^ Byron Bay Writer's Festival profile
  4. ^ Stephen Dando Collins and Jana Wendt
  5. ^ Book review - Pasteur’s Gambit, Stephen Dando-Collins
  6. ^