Home—Noosa Heads, Queensland, Australia.
Writer. Also worked as a graphic designer, copywriter, creative director, senior advertising agency executive, and independent marketing consultant.
Finklestein's Miracle, Dandy Books (Leura, New South Wales, Australia), 1989.
Cobbers: The Complete Lives and Loves of the Bloke and Ginger Mick, Angus & Robertson (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.
Standing Bear Is a Person: The True Story of a Native American's Quest for Justice, Da Capo Press (Cambridge, MA), 2004.
Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable Fourteenth Legion, John Wiley (Hoboken, NJ), 2005.
Cleopatra's Kidnappers: How Caesar's Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar, John Wiley (Hoboken, NJ), 2006.
Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor, John Wiley (Hoboken, NJ), 2006.
Stephen Dando-Collins began his career writing novels and eventually turned his attention to history. Commenting on the author's book, Standing Bear Is a Person: The True Story of a NativeAmerican's Quest for Justice, Whispering Wind contributor Dawn Karima Pettigrew noted: "Stirring events, memorable characters, formidable obstacles and an impressive conflict combine with uncluttered writing to create a worthwhile work." In the book, the author focuses on an incident in which Standing Bear led twenty-seven other Ponca Indians off a reservation that they were sent to by the U.S. government, land that was unsuitable for farming. Many Ponca Indians died as a result, including Standing Bear's own son, which spurred Standing Bear to leave the reservation so he could take his son to his tribe's traditional burying grounds. Standing Bear's rebellion eventually came to the notice of the Omaha Soldier Lodge and made headlines in the Omaha Daily Herald, leading to a courtroom drama. In addition to Pettigrew, several other critics had high praise for Dando-Collins's account. Writing in Booklist, Rebecca Maksel commented that the author "captures the full drama of Standing Bear's struggle." Kliatt contributor Patricia Moore referred to Standing Bear Is a Person as a "smoothly written and gripping narrative," also commenting that it is presented with "clear and fast-paced prose."
The author has also written several books focusing on military legions in the Roman army. In Cleopatra's Kidnappers: How Caesar's Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar, Dando-Collins focuses on the Sixth Legion's successful defense of Julius Caesar's empire when attacked by the Egyptian Army in Alexandria. The author also writes of the politics of the time and of Caesar's famous interlude with Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. "The author entertains and, through chatty digressions on ‘Roman civilization,’ military practices, myths, and historical and geographical curiosities, also instructs the general reader," wrote Adrian Tronson in the Historian. Several reviewers noted, however, that some of the author's "history" is highly conjectural, including David S. Michaels, writing on RomanaArmy.com. Nevertheless, Michaels also commented that the author "is a competent writer who can spin a fairly lively narrative. His style weaves together straightforward exposition with novelistic details and snatches of dialog." In addition, Michaels wrote of the book: "At root it is a sometimes compelling tale of brave men enduring a bitter trial of strength to emerge victorious."
Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor recounts how this legion, which was formed in Gaul, played a key role in the Roman army as Rome established its imperial power in the century prior to Christ's birth. "This is an interesting and well-written work that should appeal to general readers," wrote Jay Freeman in Booklist. Referring to the author as "a good storyteller," Library Journal contributor Clay Williams also wrote: "The period he covers is fascinating for the historiography it has inspired."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, December 15, 2004, Rebecca Maksel, review of Standing Bear Is a Person: The True Story of a Native American's Quest for Justice, p. 701; November 15, 2006, Jay Freeman, review of Mark Antony's Heroes: How the Third Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor, p. 20.
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, October, 2002, R.T. Ingoglia, review of Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome, p. 335.
Historian, winter, 2006, Adrian Tronson, review of Cleopatra's Kidnappers: How Caesar's Sixth Legion Gave Egypt to Rome and Rome to Caesar.
Journal of Military History, July, 2005, review of Nero's Killing Machine: The True Story of Rome's Remarkable Fourteenth Legion, p. 899.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of Standing Bear Is a Person, p. 946.
Kliatt, January, 2006, Patricia Moore, review of Standing Bear Is a Person, p. 33.
Library Journal, December 1, 2004, Elizabeth Morris, review of Standing Bear Is a Person, p. 134; October 1, 2005, Sean Michael Fleming, review of Cleopatra's Kidnappers, p. 92; January 1, 2007, Clay Williams, review of Mark Antony's Heroes, p. 122.
Reference & Research Book News, February, 2005, review of Caesar's Legion, p. 280; February, 2005, review of Standing Bear Is a Person, p. 60.
Whispering Wind, November-December, 2004, Dawn Karima Pettigrew, review of Standing Bear Is a Person, p. 37.
RomanArmy.com,http://www.romanarmy.com/cms/ (October 7, 2007), David S. Michaels, review of Cleopatra's Kidnappers.