Philhellene author Tony Whitefield shares love for Greece through his novels


For Tony Whitefield, his love for Greece is not only expressed through his regular visits to the country, but in his novels and literature.

As a proud Philhellene from Brunswick, Victoria, Tony, together with his wife Despina Whitefield (formerly Kassavetis), developed a love for the Northern-Aegean island of Lemnos in Greece. His fascination for the island sprung from his passion for history and research, where he tied his Australian roots to his wife’s Greek roots.

Despite now being retired, the husband, father-of-two and grandfather-of-two has lived an eventful life full of discoveries and adventures. In his career, he has been a high school teacher, a university lecturer, a researcher, and an author. He completed a PhD 20 years ago. Tony has also published several books which were inspired by his regular visits to Lemnos.

“I wanted to create something that focuses on the mythology of the island, the history, the archaeology, and the modern history right up to the ANZACs being in Lemnos,” Tony told The Greek Herald.

His first novel was A Lemnos Odyssey, published in 2015, which he co-authored with his friend Roger Hawthorn. It explores Lemnos’ connection to Australia through the lens of ANZAC history. It also delves into his family’s roots, including his grandfather’s involvement in World War I.

A Lemnos Odyssey

“It was a journey of discovery,” Tony said.

“I wanted to understand not just the events, but the people behind them. Lemnos wasn’t just a setting; it was a character in its own right.”

After releasing the successful non-fiction book, Tony went on to write fiction, where he published The Queen of Limnos in 2020, Georges Café in 2021, and most recently, Jason and the Argonauts in 2023.

George’s Cafe

“I wanted to breathe new life into these ancient stories,” Tony said.

“To imagine what it would be like if these myths were not just legends, but lived experiences passed down through generations. I just like to reimagine Greek mythology as if it happened today.”

The Philhellene said while he never anticipated becoming an author, he took pride in all his accomplishments and cherishes the opportunities he’s been given to write about his love for Greek history and mythology.

Jason and the Argonauts

“I never ever thought that I could write a novel,” Tony said.

“However, I’m a great believer that anyone can write, and having been a high school teacher for years, I thought, well I’ve written lots of articles, listing things and curriculum things and I’ve completed a master’s thesis and a PhD, so I just wanted to take that next step and commence writing.”

The 64-year-old said what he loved most about writing was the “aha moments.”

“I just love when I’m focused on such miniscule things and I can’t work out how to construct something, so I go away and clear my mind. Then, when I come back and start typing, it clicks,” Tony said.

“It’s the ‘aha’ moment for me, which is such a great feeling.”

Tony said he aims to continue writing in the long term.

“I still do one semester at the University of Deakin for a good four hours a week, which gives me time to continuing pursuing my passion of writing,” Tony said.

“My next project is to release another non-fiction book called Oedipus and the Seven against Thebes in 2025. As long as there are stories left to tell, I’ll keep weaving them into the fabric of this ancient land.

“I may be an Aussie by birth, but Lemnos holds a piece of my heart.”

Tony’s books are available on all major book seller platforms online, in hard copy and on kindle.




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