About

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Kicking up the dust in the Karoola sunset. Photo: Billy Bennett

Hilary Burden is a writer and occasional ABC broadcaster based in Tasmania.

She worked as a magazine editor and writer in the UK from 1987 to 2004 before returning to northeast Tasmania where she now lives on a smallholding not far from where she grew up.

As a freelance journalist, Hilary has written for The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Times and Daily Mail in the UK, and Guardian AustraliaThe Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Australia.

Hilary writes about aspects of place, including nature, food, gardens, cultural landscapes and the great outdoors. She is currently Editor of her local newsletter the Lilydale Progressive.

Her memoir, A Story of Seven Summers – Life In The Nuns’ House, was published by Allen & Unwin in September 2012. Email hburden@bigpond.com for a signed copy ($30 plus p&p). Paperback and Kindle editions available online through Amazon.

A Story of Seven Summers-1

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20 thoughts on “About

  1. Hilary — I love love LOVE your piece in the Tasmania Times.

    So much so that I’ve included it in my almost-ever-week blog, My Wooden Boat of the Week, http://boats.woodenboat.com

    and on the WoodenBoat Forum, http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?184531-Handmade-In-Tasmania&p=4354500#post4354500.

    If you manage to read through the entirety of my post, you will learn that I will be coming to Tas to attend the Wooden Boat Festival in February. I am so excited — I’ve never been to Tas, except in my dreams.

    Thanks for a great article, and my best wishes to you, Carl (carl@woodenboat.com)

  2. Hi Hilary

    When I attended your blogging workshop in Devonport last week, I was half way through reading your book. I have finished it now and thoroughly enjoyed going on the journey with you. I have quoted from your book on my most recent blog post at waywardwanders.blogspot.com

    Also, I have to tell you this – the Ransons are my mother’s cousins. Mum and her parents were born and brought up in Derby. I was born in Launceston but grew up in Queensland. We would come to Tasmania for Christmas to visit both sets of my grandparents, about every second year so I have wonderful memories of summers at Derby. I also have a memory of attending a party at Doug and Neita’s where there were lots of people of all ages. It would have been in the early 70’s. Maybe you were there too?

  3. Dear Hilary,

    I’ve just finished your gorgeous book, A Story of Seven Summers, and I wanted to sincerely thank you! My 5 year old found it for me to read to her, she loved the colors on the front cover. Then, when I began to read I was instantly engaged with your courage and willingness to follow your instincts toward a fulfilling and beautiful new life. Your descriptions of the landscape, produce and people of Tasmania have lit a fire under me (thanks for that great line Les!). The way in which you translated your inner and outer journey onto the pages of this book really is magic. I am truly inspired and very grateful for the way you have shared life in Karoola and it’s surrounds. Thank you!

    1. Dear Ali, It is so heartening to read your generous words, and to know that your five year old daughter chose my book! I’m really pleased to know my story has inspired you. Thank you so much for letting me know. Warmest wishes and a big hug for your daughter, Hilary

  4. Loved your first book….truly breath of fresh air stuff….!!!!!!
    When is the second one coming out…???? Can hardly wait to read it……xxx

  5. Hilary
    Just wanted to tell you how inspiring your book seven summers was to me. I started the first chapter while laying on the beach at Bay of Fires of which you mentioned within the first pages! I was at the Bay Of Fires with a group of girlfriends camping in the true sense of camping, no toilet, showers etc. I was down from Sydney where I have lived for the past 30 years. Born in Tassie raised at Coles Bay!
    On my return to Sydney I checked out a map of the area surrounding Karoola and came across a very shabby shack at Bellingham for sale. This all happened in late March it is now 22nd June and I have been to see the shack and hope that I might buy it. My friends drove me up and we stayed at the beautiful Lowe Head Pilot Station and then drove to Bellingham (am in love with this area). We drove to Janz and meet some women that knew you WOW what a small well!
    Am leaving Tassie in 1hour and have just given my best friend a copy of your book that I know she will love as much as me. Thanks
    Katrina

    1. What an amazing message to come home to, Katrina, thank you. I know how it feels when you fall in love with a place. If you’re coming back make sure you let me know. Good luck with the flow of things. Warmest wishes, Hilary

  6. Hi,
    Have just arrived home to my husband’s delicious take on Audrey’s Impossible Quiche. The smell is DELICIOUS. My friend Marilynn gave me your book, A Story Of Seven Summers, for my birthday. – I have it by my bedside, I manage to only read 1 page a night, it prepares me for perfect sleep! She wrote in the book quote: Hillary’s excerpts in Country Style remind me of how you & I think about the seasons. Now my lovely husband has discovered your book. He’s hooked on reading it. We are waiting for your next book. Last year I cooked your delicious Quince Dessert. I spread it around all my friends. They adore it. Keep writing and he keeps cooking Hillary,
    Thanks, Sue

    1. Dear Sue, Thank you so much for your kind message. Every now and then life dishes up a surprise that leaves you flat, and when you get a message like this it’s an instant pick-me-up. Such a lovely reminder of what we need to do for each other. So glad you enjoy the recipes too. Next book still brewing but hopefully it will fall onto the page soon. Warmest wishes to you and your “lovely” husband and friend Marilynn, Hilary

  7. Hi Hilary

    Have just finished your book which I started last Friday!! A delight to read and a privilege to be admitted to your world for those 7 summers, also fantastic to have the recipes included – thank you sooo much:-).

    Originally Melbournians but having lived in several different Ozzie states and the UK my husband and I fell in love with this special island about 10 years ago when coming down for my brother’s funeral. We finally made it back 2 years ago finding our magic spot on the Tamar river at Lanena and constantly give thanks for the peace, tranquility and pleasure it brings us – so identify closely with sentiments you so beautifully expressed. It is our 29th and final house move, after 50 years we feel we have come home at last and hope we have many ‘summers’ yet to enjoy!!!

    Thrilled to hear you are ‘brewing’ another book – so looking forward to more.

    Warm wishes
    Joanne Jones

    1. Thank you Joanne, how lovely to read your words and hear how happy you are across the river. Lanena is a beautiful spot. Happy summer solstice tomorrow – and Merry Christmas to you and yours. Warm regards, Hilary

  8. I lost my sister in Nov 2012, one day before her birthday. The year she passed away I visited her in Tassie where she had been living for over thirty years. She had been reading your book that year and told me how much she enjoyed it. I picked up a copy in Hobart and was also quickly hooked onto its heartfelt story.
    Her dream had always been, as I have, to one day live in the country. I am now reading your book for a second time. I love the images you portray of the countryside, the people and the passing seasons of nature. I look forward to one day visiting Karoola -a beautiful gem of countryside! Hope there will be another book to inspire !

    1. Dear Saskia,
      Thank you so much for your note. I was moved to hear about the loss of your sister. You must miss her terribly, but hopefully it feels uplifting to be reminded of her through reading a book she enjoyed.
      My twin brother arrived last night from the UK on a flying visit so I am sensitive to feelings about siblings.
      He’s staying with Audrey in Launceston and I hope he manages to find time to visit Karoola and the countryside especially – it is so very underestimated in my view.
      Yes, I’m currently beavering away on another book – it’s been a long time gestating – and it’s hard to keep writing while also having to earn a living to pay bills – the lot of many artists. But I’ll get there! Notes like yours inspire and motivate me – so *thank you* to you and your sister.

      Warmest regards,

      Hilary

  9. I have just finished reading your wonderful book which my neighbour loaned me. I have ordered four more copies as I have friends I know will get the same pleasure as I have had from this book, my question is, will there or is there another one in the pipeline?

    1. Hello Linda, Thank you for your kind note. I’m glad you enjoyed my story and hope your friends will too! I’m working on a second that’s taking a while to write in between working, walking and gardening – but it’s on the way for sure. Thank you for your patience and encouragement! Warm wishes, Hilary

  10. Hello Hilary. I am an expat Tasmanian who has retired from the travails of managing an organisation and returned home to Tassie, with my wife, Louise . We’ve settled,very comfortably in the Huon Valley and met lots of mainlanders from all parts of Oz seeking a more fulfilling life here. ( how could you not!) I’ve loved reading your book a couple of times and given it as a gift to a few friends. Looking forward to your next one as I love the way you bring your observations to life on the page. Louise and Steve

    1. Hello Steve and Louise, wonderful you’ve found your way back to Tassie, too, and thank you for those kind words. The next book is simmering away – I’ve had to be so very patient with the themes – but inching closer every day… Hopefully next year will be the year it reveals itself, finally, as the book. You’ll be one of the first to know here! Enjoy your beautiful Spring shooting in the Huon.

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