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Australian Son the story of Ned Kelly by Max Brown
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Countless books, novels, periodicals, journals, and whatever have been written on Ned and his Kelly Gang. Why, who, when, where, whatever. As long as it made a buck for the author, which nearly all invariably have thanks to Australia and the rest of the world's thirst for Kelly trivia. Below is a selection of Kelly related books, some good and some bad, that I have had the pleasure (or displeasure) to review. If you feel I have treated a book too harshly or not harshly enough send in your Feedback and I will add it to the review. The rating system is quite simple, the more Ned's shown, the more impressive the book, with 5 Ned's being the ultimate. To keep load times to a minimum I have split the Book section into three areas — Non Fiction, Fiction, and Reference.

Australian SonIn books old and new, in old documents and official reports, in the stained files of newspapers, in the dumb evidence of trees and rocks and old buildings, in the quavering voices and still bright eyes of old folk who knew them, but are soon to die, I have read something. Sometimes I felt I had moments of insight into the enigma of their leader who has been described as low thief and murderer, and again as “the father of our national courage — our General — our King — whose mystical presence is still growing about us, never to die.
Max Brown Australian Son


Australian Son  

Australian Son
The story of Ned Kelly
Max Brown
First published 1948
This edition 2005, 2013 by Network Creative Services

The ultimate Ned Kelly history book Australian Son, the story of Ned Kelly became a milestone in Australian literature when it first burst onto the scene just after World War II. Prior to Max’s death in 2003, the author had spent ten years rewriting and researching this definitive guide to the life of Ned Kelly. You can read more about this masterpiece in our Australian Son section.

Download: Chapters 1 and 2

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Ellen: a woman of spirit  

Ellen
A woman of spirit
Noelene Allen
First published August 2012 by Network Creative Services

Ellen: a woman of spirit is the extraordinary true story of a woman whose life journey is told in this long awaited book with sympathy, compassion and above all honesty. The reader will become immersed in the trials, tragedies and triumphs of this woman. The love of Ellen’s life is taken from her at an early age; she is faced with the task of bringing up her children on her own. She will do anything for her children including spending time in gaol for protecting her teenage daughter from the unwanted advances of a police officer. No mother should experience the tragedies and losses that this woman endured throughout her long life; she outlived seven of her twelve children. The strength of the women of the Kelly family becomes clear as the reader shares many previously untold anecdotes of the life of the mother of Australia’s most famous bushranger, Ned Kelly.

Download Sample (PDF): Ellen: a woman of spirit
Interview: Ellen: a woman of spirit

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The True Story of Ned Kelly's Last Stand  

The True Story of Ned Kelly's Last Stand
New revelations unearthed about
the bloody siege at Glenrowan

Paul Terry
First published 2012 by Allen and Unwin

If someone ever tries to tell you there's nothing more to be written about Ned Kelly then hand them The True Story of Ned Kelly's Last Stand. Author Paul Terry has done an impressive job in not only retelling the story of the Glenrowan siege but also in his reconstruction on the deconstruction of the grounds in and around the Jones Inn. Terry covers the unearthing of the archaeological dig on the site in great detail and with a fair amount of flair making a seemingly staid subject into a fascinating adventure. The deployment of the QR Codes throughout the book is a clever use of technology on behalf of the publisher which allows the reader a direct link to photos and video taken from the dig site. So, despite a few minor errors like quoting McDermott, I believe this book is an important addition to the extended Kelly library.

Link: Purchase the book

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The Inner History  

The Inner History of the Kelly Gang
J J Kenneally
First published 1929
by J Roy Stevens Printer

This book is the grand daddy of them all. The first true account of what took place in Kelly country all those years ago. Kenneally left no stone unturned in his quest for justice for Ned and his brothers in arms, and in turn, highlighted the real culprits to this whole bloody mess — the police and judiciary. It was a bold move in 1929 seeing many of the people involved were still very much alive. Later editions also sported letters of encouragement from Ned’s brother Jim Kelly, and James Ryan.

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Ned Kelly and the Green Sash  

Ned Kelly and the Green Sash
Mark Greenwood and Frane Lessac
First published 2010 by Walker Books

Ned Kelly and his Sash utilises impressive full colour imagery and a clever form of story telling, including an array of newspaper clippings, which raises the bar for books of this type. It is a must have for any collection of children's stories relating to Ned Kelly. The paintings are snappy, the writing is well balanced and the general feel is one of a very high standard. Overall, this is a great book but the price is way too steep at $27.95 considering it's aimed at grubby little hands and was printed in China. A more respectable price of $19.95 would see this edition fly off the shelves but it's your call Walker Books.

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Ned: The Exhibition  

Ned: The Exhibition
Old Melbourne Gaol 2001 - 2002
Ian Jones
First published 2002 by Network Creative Services

Ned: The Exhibition documents the vast collection which was on display at the Old Melbourne Gaol during the ground breaking exhibition of 2001-2002. With text by Ian Jones and photos by Matthew Deller, the life of Edward Kelly, spread over 18 chapters, reintroduces the legend of the Ironoutlaw to a new generation of Kelly enthusiasts.

Download: Chapters 1, 2 and 3

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Australian Son  

Ned Kelly: Australia Son
Max Brown
First published 1948
This edition 1980 by Angus & Robertson

Although originally published over half a century ago, Australian Son could easily have been written only yesterday. A masterful writer, Max Brown captured the Kelly spirit as never before. Instrumental in influencing the future works of John McQuilton, Keith McMenomy and Ian Jones, Max Brown's research was exhaustive — including interviews with people who knew the Kelly’s.  New additions and an index were compiled for the 1980 Australian Classics Edition. After J.J. Kenneally’s The Inner History of the Kelly Gang, Australian Son became the second major literature piece on Ned Kelly. And it still remains the definitive biography. If you only intend to buy one book on the life of Ned Kelly, then this is it.

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A Short Life  

Ned Kelly: A Short Life
Ian Jones
First published 1995
This edition 2003 by Lothian Books

While some may say the ink has hardly dried on his last edition, this new version of A Short Life sees Ian Jones continue to expand on his research. This new publication is definitely worth a pick up. Nearly twice as large as the original, and with double the images, this is big! The book features expanded passages and new chapters making it another Jones must-have for your book collection.

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A Short Life  

Ned Kelly: A Short Life
Ian Jones
First published 1995

As the back of the cover states “Ned Kelly the man - warts and all - the most vivid portrait yet of Australia's immortal outlaw!” This book is the modern day benchmark in terms of Kelly history and fact. A must read.

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The Authentic Illustrated History  

Ned Kelly
The Authentic Illustrated History
Keith McMenomy
First published 1984

This edition 2001 by Hardie Grant

This edition proves it is possible to improve on the 1984 publication. The book features new photos, corrects previous errors, adds a more in-depth commentary and supports a total redesign. Well worth a buy even if you are fortunate enough to hold a copy of the first print.

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Fatal Friendship  

The Fatal Friendship
Ned Kelly, Aaron Sherritt and Joe Byrne
Ian Jones
First published 1992

This edition 2003 by Lothian Books

Building on an already solid performance from his 1992 edition, Ian Jones, in this updated and fully revised biography continues to entice the reader through a deliverance of emotion and intrigue as he covers the amazingly intricate world of Joe Byrne, Aaron Sherritt and Ned Kelly. Part detective, part drama, this piece of work is a must have.

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The Authentic Illustration Story  

Ned Kelly
The Authentic Illustrated Story
Keith McMenomy
First published 1984
by Currey O'Neil Ross

For any true Kelly historian, this book is solid gold. It presents the facts without taking sides and has one of the most comprehensive collections of illustrations of any Kelly book. Together with its exhaustive index, bibliography and footnotes, it is a must for any Kelly research. Copies of the 1984 edition are now unfortunately hard to find.

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A Short Life  

Ned Kelly: A Short Life
Ian Jones
First published 1995
This edition 2008 by Hachette

Yet another reprint of A Short Life! Now published by that froggie monolith Hachette Livre, the company seems to have done a 'hachette job' on the book. This one seems to be watered down somewhat, as it's missing some information from the previous Lothian edition. The wishy-washy cover doesn't help either. If you do find an urge to buy this version then grab the hardcover edition.

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Saint Ned  

Saint Ned
The story of the near sanctification
of an Australian outlaw

Keith Dunstan
First published 1980
by Methuen of Australia

Written by Keith Dunstan, founder of such illustrious institutions as The Anti Football League and The National Distrust, the book takes a more light hearted look at the life and times of Ned Kelly. It focuses on the growth of the Kelly legend as well as the burgeoning Kellyana industry. Although published in 1980 it still raises some interesting questions about Australia and it's fascination with the underdog and our ability to make a buck out of it in the process.

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Black Snake  

Black Snake
The daring of Ned Kelly
Carole Wilkinson
First published 2002
by Black Dogs Books

I should start off by saying although I'm not quite a juvenile anymore (many would disagree), I enjoyed this book immensely. Author Carole Wilkinson aimed Black Snake squarely at the late primary / early secondary level and succeeded where others had failed. The story of Kelly is told in a clearly understood and well defined manner. The book is highlighted by numerous What if you were there... accounts allowing the young reader a better understanding of the life and times of early Australia. As well, additional information in the form of highlight boxes give further background to a particular piece of the story. Wilkinson’s research is well rounded and, although the story offers no great revelations, it does set a new standard of clever writing to such an important, and often forgotten, section of the reading public.

Shortlisted for the 2003 Children's Book of the Year Award — Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

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I Am Ned Kelly  

I Am Ned Kelly
John Molony
First published 1980
by Penguin Books

I regard Professor John Molony's book I Am Ned Kelly as one of the most accurately researched accounts of the Kelly outbreak. Along with Max Brown’s Australian Son, Molony's book shines as one of the best reads on Ned. If you are thinking of setting up a Kelly library then this book would have to be high on your list of must haves. In 2001 the book was reprinted with new illustrations and a new title Ned Kelly.

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Matthew Brady & Ned Kelly  

Matthew Brady & Ned Kelly
Kindred Spirits, Kindred Souls
Paul Williams
First published 2007
by Arcadia

...The signal was given, the drop fell. So ended a bushranging career that had spanned the best part of two years. This man had left his mark, becoming a legend in his own time; a notorious bushranger who bailed up towns, with huge bounties placed on his head. Renowned for his support of the underdog, he had won a ground swell of supporters. Women who fell into his hands as captives had spoken of his chivalrous conduct, but if he had ever experienced the intimate love of a woman in his life, it is unknown. A traitor had been executed two days before he fought his last stand, where bullet wounds to the leg led to his final capture, trial, and sentence to hang. This hanging took place in 1826 in Hobart Town... Published by Australian Scholarly Publishing, Matthew Brady & Ned Kelly: Kindred Spirits, Kindred Lives cleverly intertwines the lives of these two men who shared far more than their Irish ancestry.
[excerpts]

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After A Century Of Acrimony  

Ned Kelly
After a century of acrimony
John Meredith and Bill Scott
First published 1980
by Landsdowne Press

Contains an incredible collection of source documents relating to Kelly. After a thought-provoking introduction, the authors reprint the Second Progress Report from the 1881 Royal Commission (which, by the way, presents an excellent contemporary history of the Gang). Following this are nine letters either written or dictated by Kelly, including his three condemned cell letters. The collection of Kelly songs and stories are so extensive that this chapter could be a book on its own. At the time of it's publication, it came with the most comprehensive bibliography, cinematography and discography.

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I Was At The Kelly Gang Round-Up  

I Was At The Kelly Gang Round-Up
Judith Douthie (Mortimer)
First published 2007 by Network Creative Services

Read for the first time the definitive account of the men, women and children held hostage during The Siege of Glenrowan. For more than 24 hours, Ned Kelly and his Gang detained over 60 people during their fight for independence.  Who were they? Why were they there and what happened afterwards? Their stories have been untold until now.

Download: Introduction & Hugh Bracken Chapter

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Kelly Country Sketchbook  

Kelly Country Sketch Book
Brian Carroll and Jack Montgomery
First published 1972
by Rigby

By comparing the sketches in this book with what's left standing at Kelly Road, you can really see the deterioration in the homestead at Beveridge. There are some great illustrations here as well as an informative and highly enjoyable read about the environs of North East Victoria better known as Kelly Country. The drawings cover a wide range of Kelly haunts from Avenel to the Old Melbourne Gaol. Most of the buildings featured are now gone but if you plan on trekking through the high country to visit any Kelly site then take this book with you, it's a valuable reference.

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Blood In The Dust  

Blood In The Dust
Inside the Minds of Ned Kelly and Joe Byrne
Angeline N. Baron
First published 2004
This edition 2008 by Network Creative Services

Blood in the Dust is a graphological analysis of the handwriting of Ned Kelly and Joseph Byrne. It contains three complete psychological studies based on an adult sample of Joe Byrne’s handwriting, and both an adolescent and adult sample of Ned Kelly’s handwriting. The analyses build a complete personality profile of both men, including detailed descriptions of their intellect and mental processes, emotionality, physical attributes, social outreach, and sexuality. Each analysis also discusses specific relationships revealed in the handwriting, including the relationship with parents, other relatives, friends and enemies.

Download: Introduction & Sample of Handwriting

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The Kelly Hunters  

The Kelly Hunters
Frank Clune
First published 1954 by Angus and Robertson

With illustrations by R. Malcolm Warner, Clune sets out to tell the story his way and succeeds quite well. Although very similar to his proceeding book Ned Kelly featured below, The Kelly Hunters is still worth putting up on your bookshelf — but be warned, a hardcover in mint condition will set you back a few dollars.

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Ned Kelly  

Ned Kelly
Frank Clune
First published 1972
by Rigby

This is another major Ned Kelly biography which helped build the wave of support that has seen Ned become the folklore legend he is today. As it says on the back cover “Frank Clune maintains that Ned Kelly was just as game as legend has made him out to be, and that he was a man wronged beyond all endurance”.

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Tell 'Em I Died Game  

Tell 'Em I Died Game
The legend of Ned Kelly
Graham Seal
First published 2002
by Hyland House

Originally published in 1980, under the title Ned Kelly in Popular Tradition, author Graham Seal has added to this literary effort by taking a contemporary look at the continued growth of the Kelly legend. While a number of authors have previously attempted to explain the fascination the world holds for Ned, Seal adds a new dimension to the argument, although he hasn’t gone far enough to back up some of his claims. What proof does the author have that Tom Lloyd witnessed the entire event at Stringybark Creek? What evidence does he have to show Tom had his own set of armour? I've heard these rumours too but without solid historical fact you would be hard pressed to put the claims in writing. I have one other criticism and it’s leveled at the publisher, Hyland House. You've done the author an injustice through the use of poor design — from the cheap looking cover to the rushed typographical layout — elements which hardly warrant the book's high recommended retail price.

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Ned Kelly  

Ned Kelly
Charles Osborne
First published 1970
by Anthony Blond Ltd

If you can ignore the title on the back cover “Hero or Gangster?” this book is a good read. Written primarily for a British public, the author presents the Kelly story in a surprisingly well rounded way. Included in the narrative is a collection of bush ballads, a detailed list of reported Kelly sightings, all the major Kelly letters, excerpts from the trial transcript, and a number of contemporary documents.

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Kelly Country  

Kelly Country
A Photographic Journey
Brendon Kelson and John McQuilton
First published 2001 by University of Queensland Press

McQuilton has waved his pen over this pictorial publication with great aplomb. The book is an exciting read although most of the pictures suffer from a lack of tones, making them appear too dark and muddy. This publication should adorn your library if you are a Kelly fan, however, if you’re into collecting great photographic essays, look elsewhere. The printer, University of Queensland Press, should be ashamed of themselves ruining a potentially great publication with such poorly executed prepress work.

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The Larrikin Years  

Ned Kelly The Larrikin Years
The rise and fall of the Prince of Larrikins
Graham Jones
First published 1990
by Charquin Hill Publishing

This book is written by the same author who wrote the shocker Kelly and Ned. Whatever happened between The Larrikin Years in 1990 and when he wrote that rubbish in 1997 is anyone's guess. The fact of the matter is that he should have steered clear of fiction writing, as this book is quite an enjoyable read. After all, it states just as much on the back cover  “His new book challenges conventional thinking about the Kelly Outbreak”. Buy it, read it!

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Ned and the Others  

Ned And The Others
Dagmar Balcarek and Gary Dean
First published 1995
by Glen Rowen Cobb & Co

For years I had avoided buying this book due to the nonexistent cover design. However, I thought I should do Gary a favour and read it. Gary and Dagmar aren't frightened in presenting ideas that other historians may scorn at. Certain points in the book raise some unanswered questions. Overall I would recommend it to anyone studying the Kelly phenomena, as it is sure to open up a whole new can of worms.

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Ned Kelly's Last Days  

Ned Kelly's Last Days
Setting the record straight on the death of an outlaw
Alex C. Castles
First published 2005
by Allen & Unwin

Review by Paul O’Keefe
Alex Castle, an Emeritus Professor of Law, taught at Adelaide University for over 30 years. With his book near completion, he died in December 2003. It was finished by his daughter Jennifer and released in July 2005. The book offers an important insight into a part of the Kelly Story least dealt with — the 137 days from Ned’s capture at Glenrowan, his trial to his eventual hanging. It shows a corrupt Government, an equally corrupt Police Force and the relentless propaganda from a press baying for Ned’s death, sooner rather than later. Castles argues the Felons Apprehension Act had expired prior to the events at Glenrowan and that Ned could no longer be treated as an outlaw.

This is not a new revelation. In 1929, author J.J Kenneally in The Inner History of the Kelly Gang discovered this loophole and reported his findings to family members. Castles’ book relies heavily on the unpublished memoirs of Thomas McIntyre, the surviving member of the police party at Stringybark Creek. McIntyre, who was self obsessed with saving face, changed his sworn statements on Stringybark so many times he actually perjured himself. Castle, however, fails to mention this in his findings.

The book also rehashes the claim that Ned Kelly’s “fiancee” was his infatuated first cousin — the just 15 year old Kate Lloyd (he cites the hearsay of a publican’s wife’s conversation to a Melbourne reporter!). Within my family’s oral tradition this relationship is untrue. Simply put, the union between Ned and his first cousin did not occur. This book is neither pro Police nor pro Kelly. However, Castles does portray Ned’s eldest sister Maggie as a true heroine — someone who tried in vain to help her condemned brother while keeping her family together against enormous odds (despite the numerous obstacles the Government and Police put in her way). I’m glad the book reflects this chapter in the Kelly story.

Castles does highlight the atrocious way the Siege was handled from the quick disposal of the corpses (of Steve Hart, Dan Kelly, and Joe Byrne), to Ned’s trial and his subsequent hanging (and the blatant cover-ups by the Police and Government to save their own careers). However, his book is also full of numerous factual errors (including Castles claim Ned was 28 years of age when he walked the scaffold). Some of his assumptions leave me shaking my head, including the claim by Castles own Grandfather George, in which he states that Sergeant Steele was a “solid and respectable character”. Obviously George met the Sergeant after he had given up shooting at women and children (see our Villains section). Unfortunately, Castles book goes only a very short way in setting the record straight.

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Ned Kelly & His Gang  

Ned Kelly & His Gang
Bryce Courtenay and Ian Forss
First published b
y Kidcorp Pty Ltd

Part of the “Cadbury History Block Collection”, Bryce Courtenay – better known for writing potato related history – puts his pen to a brief history of the Kelly Gang (aimed squarely at the younger generation). Besides being off the mark for Ned’s birth and how the Jerilderie Letter got into print, Bryce does a fair job at introducing the Gang, considering chocolate would be the sole reason you’d be reading his story in the first place.

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Ned Kelly  

Ned Kelly
Ken Little and Dee Huxley
First published 1978 by Reed Books

Although now out of print, this book is an excellent source for early primary school students eager to learn more about Ned Kelly. With impressive illustrations and an easy to read narrative, if you are lucky enough to find a copy buy it.

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Man and Myth  

Ned Kelly
Man And Myth
editied by Colin Cave
First published b
y Cassell Australia

A worthwhile book to add to your Ned Kelly collection. While out of print there are a few available online and through second hand bookshops. Essays range from Professor Manning Clarke to Ian Jones with writers attempting to uncover and dissect the 'Man and Myth', some of these articles were successful and others missed the mark completely.

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Ned Kelly  

Ned Kelly
George Farwell
First published 1970 by F W Cheshire Publishing

This is yet another book to add to the ever mounting collection on Ned Kelly. I only bought the novel to try and bolster my library on Ned as my collection pales into insignificance compared to Mr Brian McDonald, but I am making a come back. Anyway, back to the book. It isn't a bad read considering I hadn't heard of it before. The photos are a bit scary as they are colour shots taken from that awful movie starring Mick Jagger but if you come across this book at a good price, don't pass it up.

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The Kelly Gang Unmasked  

The Kelly Gang Unmasked
Ian Macfarlane
First published 2012 by Oxford University Press

Review by Lisa
After reading this book all I can say is - now I know why the Irish hate the English... Seriously though, this book is THE most biased/pro police book I have read yet. It is very obvious that the author hates Ned from the start, and he just talks down about him at every turn. He and his book come across as nothing but pompous, arrogant, hypocritical, unfair and ignorant. The authors views are EXTREMELY one sided. He continually complains about pro Kelly authors claiming they show only one side of the story, yet he turns around and does exactly that, only for the police. Any favourable comments and descriptions of Ned are just dismissed as 'absurd' as are any complaints against the police. Criticism of Fitzpatrick is called 'distinctly unfair', of McIntyre's perjury it's 'incorrectly claimed' the author saying McIntyre's evidence is 'strikingly honest', mistreatment of the Kelly girls by Insp. Brooke Smith is 'easy to disprove' and the police involved in general were 'skillful'. While he describes Ned and the boys as 'ne'er do wells' among other things. At every opportunity he tries to belittle Ned and make fun of him, calling him - stupid, racist, unpopular, an astonishing liar, just a basic bushman, his letters as blathering and long winded, etc, etc, etc. He says Aaron's description of Ned's hardiness and toughness is 'sheer nonsense'. Ned's self defence claim at Stringybark is called 'nonsensical', author says all four boys were heavily armed at Stringybark and the police were 'riddled with bullets'. Also that the Kelly Legend is just 'wishful thinking'. He straight out believes anything the police claim against Ned, including Fitzpatrick, as he says several times that Ned shot Fitzpatrick, he also hints that Ned probably killed George King, and that Ned betrayed Harry Power, calling it 'chilling'. Ned was also informed on by 'friends and relatives' and that Ned often suspected Joe and Steve of informing! He even says Ned 'spat at the crowd' in Beechworth. Yet with the police certain incidents are conveniently left out, like the whole Hall incident and Steele's behaviour at Glenrowan. The author never questions or doubts the police and doesn't offer any views from the Kelly side. He even questions the fact that Ned and his mother were close?!? The author also believes there was no Republic Declaration (saying Ned wouldn't be smart enough to understand something like that) or armed sympathisers at Glenrowan. This book is amazingly biased to say the least. The best thing about it is a letter dictated by Ned to a gaol warden in September 1880 asking Standish about two saddles that were taken at Glenrowan to be returned either to Ned or Maggie. Save your money!

One Neddie Vote


Ned Kelly  

Ned Kelly
Frank Clune and Walter Stackpool
First published 1970 by Angus & Robertson

Part of the Young Australia Series, this illustrated book carries the story adapted from Frank Clune’s Ned Kelly novel. While the illustrations are of a high standard (the armour clad Ned brandishing a rifle – which he never did – has been used for numerous figurines) some sections of the book are laughable, particularly Clune’s claim a 12 year old Ned rescued a drowning farmer from a flooded creek!

One Neddie Vote


The Last of the Bushrangers  

The Last of the Bushrangers
An account of the capture of the Kelly Gang
Francis Augustus Hare
First published 1894
This edition 2006 by Naval and Military Press

A straight reprint from the original ramblings of Francis Augustus Hare, this paperback stretches over 326 pages and includes the eight illustrations from the 1894 edition. Of all the books deserving of a reprint this one ranks with the least of them. Bring on J.J. Kenneally's masterpiece I say...

One Neddie Vote


The Last of the Bushrangers  

The Last of the Bushrangers
An account of the capture of the Kelly Gang
Francis Augustus Hare
First published 1894 by Hurst & Blackett

This book should be in the Fiction section. It is a flight of fancy with Inspector Hare naturally cast as the hero. It was probably written as an attempt to redeem his actions during the Kelly outbreak and to refute the findings of the 1881 Royal Commission into the Victorian Police Force which, rightly so, painted Hare in a most unfavourable light. Still, as a piece of Kelly history it is a valuable investment. I should know, I forked out $150 for this ghostly recollection.

One Neddie Vote


The Kelly Gang  

The Kelly Gang
edited by Nancy Keesing
First published 1975 by Summit Books

With such an amazing title you know straight away what a fantastic piece of literature it is going to be. Wrong! This “editor” has just pulled paragraphs and illustrations out of previously published books. The whole publication is a rehash of tired, worn out pro–police propaganda from the 1880s. As an example‚ “The outlaws could be distinctly seen in the moonlight firing away at the police, and it must have been in the return fire that Jones’s children were accidentally shot”. Both Keesing and the publisher should be shot for reproducing such rubbish!

Half Neddie Vote


The Jerilderie Letter  

Ned Kelly
The Jerilderie Letter
edited by Alex McDermott
First published 2001 by Text Publishing

It’s always a bad sign when you can read an entire book in one toilet sitting. The signs are worse when you feel many of the pages would have been better suited shining the bot–bot after that same sitting! This book is one of them. Author Alex McDermott should have retitled his effort Coat Tails as he was certainly riding on the back of Ned Kelly’s. When you pad out a book using 13 and 15 point text (as opposed to the usual 10 or 11 point) it becomes obvious you have little to say about the actual topic. McDermott even pumps out the same old supporting photos to bump up the page count. Worse still, this book was suppose to be part of the author’s Honour thesis at LaTrobe University. I wonder which grocery store he’s packing shelves in now? I paid $6.95 for this book from a discount bin at the end of 2003, and I’m still pissed off. If you want to read a proper book on the Jerilderie Letter then head back up to the top of this page to Max Brown's Australian Son because McDermott’s effort is just a waste of trees!

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TALKING SENSE
While not everyone wants to read about Ned Kelly or the ANZACs or even The Great Depression, we hope they want to learn something about Australian History. From the ex-Prime Minister John Howard to a confused ex-NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt (see the ex-pattern here?) a number of politicians have jumped on the teaching history bandwagon. But at what cost? From Right Wing Liberals to the multitude of State Governments, seems everyone has an agenda. We'd like to let the readers decide what is worth learning. Here at IronOutlaw.com we present the facts, the fiction and everything in between. It all adds to the experience and hopefully makes History an exciting place to be while also proving it needn't always have to be written by the victors.
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Ned Kelly: A Pictorial History available on the iPad App Store
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If you're looking for that perfect gift then head over to our shop where we are featuring Max Brown's 312 page hardcover limited edition novel Australian Son: the story of Ned Kelly for $34.95 with free Australia wide postage (or $14.95 international postage). All of Max's books come with a bonus Australian Son bookmark. These books are only available for purchase online (and not through book shops). Of course the money we raise goes back in to building the world's greatest Ned Kelly web site.

Australian Son by Max Brown

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FREE DOWNLOADS
Ellen: a woman of spirit
Chapters 1, 2 and 3
Australian Son
Chapters One and Two
Kelly Gang Round-Up
Bracken Chapter
Ned: the Exhibition
Chapters 1, 2 and 3
 
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