Ask any Australian child, of primary school aged, to tell you the role these people played in our history; Lachlan Macquarie, Edmund Barton, William Cox, Matthew Flinders, Francis Greenway and Ned Kelly. As you will no doubt imagine, the first five notable figures would have a small percentage of recognition compared with the infamous Ned Kelly.
As an Australian icon, Ned Kelly seems to be up there with kangaroos and koalas; there are even some who would love to see his image on a new Australian Flag!
Ever since Elijah Upjohn placed the noose around Ned Kelly\’s neck on 11 November 1880, Ned has been immortalised in paintings, songs, jewelry, statues, films, medallions, children\’s toys, postcards, and even candles. His image has been used to advertise things from alcoholic beverages through to Real Estate Agents.
Kellyana abounds. Even before his death he was the subject of at least four books and occupied several pages in the opening of Marcus Clarke\’s article \”Bushranging in Australia\” published in The Victorian Review, January 1880, pp. 427-443.
The first of these publications was The Kelly Gang or The Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges, published by G. Wilson Hall, Proprietor Mansfield Guardian, Mansfield, 1879, 144pp. [F.11065]. Authorship is attributed to G. Wilson Hall. Ferguson notes three copies of this \”very rare imprint\”, one in his collection, one in Mitchell Library and one in the National Library. In 1977 a copy was auctioned in Sir Thomas Ramsay\’s library which sold for an amazingly low (when compared with other Kelly items) $50. Several typed transcripts of this work were produced in the late 1950s or early 1960s, one of which (from Rollo Hammet\’s library) was bound in quarter leather.
Another work, also attributed to Hall, was The Book of Keli or The Chronicles of the Kelly Pursuers, G. Wilson Hall, Mansfield, n.d. , 28pp. [F.11066]. This is a satire on the Victorian Police trying to catch the Kelly Gang written in \”biblical\” style;
Now it came to pass that the host of Bobpeelers were sent in all directions to capture the Kelites.
This work was reprinted by Charquin Hill Publishing, Wangaratta, in 1985, 94pp., with excellent annotations and illustrations by Graham Jones and Judy Bassett. The other two works produced before Kelly\’s death were part of a series published by Frearson and Brother in South Australia.
The Kelly Gang; being a full and true account of this noted and infamous band of outlaws, [Frearson and Brother, Adelaide, 1880] 16pp. [F.11067]; and The Kelly Gang: Full and True Account with 12 illustrations, and a map of the country infested by them, Frearson and Brother, Adelaide. / D.K. Brown & Co., Eastern Arcade, Melbourne, n.d. , 19pp. [F.11070].
Since this time there have been over one hundred books published on Ned Kelly and hundreds more which incorporate chapters, stories or references about him. Most of these works present the writer\’s attitudes towards Ned Kelly; some believe he was the victim of an unjust imperialistic system, others a rogue and scoundrel of the lowest type. Then there are some, but not many, who are impartial. (I may add that people today can have very strong opinions about Ned. On a radio talk-back programme the host and I were discussing Kelly when an elderly woman rang to state that she thought Ned was a wonderful person. After she asserted that Ned didn\’t harm women and children, I reminded her that he did kill three police officers at Stringybark Creek, to which she replied on air, \”But they were only policemen!\”)
It was quite clear from the outset that Kelly was destined to become a folk legend, particularly with a reported 60,000 people signing petitions for his pardon. Charles Philips Trevelyan in his Letters From North America and the Pacific – 1898, published by Chatto & Windus, London, 1969, makes mention of a travelling theatre company staging a play on Ned Kelly in a town he visited. With regard to Ned he states;
He is at present the only national hero who has become mythical. He will gradually become a Robin Hood I expect.
This was written in October 1898:
Dr. K.E. Jung in his Australia. The Country and its Inhabitants, W. Swan Sonnenschein & Co., London, 1884, 250pp., [F.11034 & 5] further evidences this glorification. Although not using names, he refers to Ned Kelly and general bushranging and comments on the support and sympathy provided by \”Australian colonists\”. Jung states;
To the youth of Australia so great glory seemed to belong to the bushranger, that in good families it was held a worthy sport to play the highwayman, with a blackened face, until houses of correction and strait-jackets put an end to the folly.
Early references to Kelly presented a variety of attitudes. Richard Tangye in his Reminiscences of Travel in Australia, America, and Egypt, privately published, Birmingham, 1883, various editions, 290pp., [F.16692,3,4&5] refers to the Kelly Gang and the \”terror they inspired\”. Whereas the diary of Joseph Jenkins published as Diary of a Welsh Swagman 1869 -1894, Macmillan Company of Australia, Melbourne, 1975, 216pp., abridged and notated [sic] by William Evans, is a good example how some facts are exaggerated, even at the time of the events.
Collectors of Kellyana should endeavour to obtain the various copies of the Royal Commission on the Police Force of Victoria as well as the works by Hare, Sadleir and Chomley. The Royal Commission comprises several items. The Minutes of Evidence taken Before [the] Royal Commission on the Police Force of Victoria, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1881, 722pp., (facsimile reprint Heinemann, Melbourne, 1968) is a massive document and contains excellent research material on the Kelly outbreak.
There were three reports;
1. Progress Report of the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the Circumstances of the Kelly Outbreak, the present state and organization of the Police Force, Etc. Government Printer, Melbourne, 1880-1, 4pp.
2. Ad Interim Report of the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the circumstances of the Kelly Outbreak, the present state and organisation of the Police Force, etc. Government Printer, Melbourne, 1881, 10pp.
3. Second Progress Report of the Royal Commission of Enquiry into the Circumstances of the Kelly Outbreak, the present state and organization of the Police Force, Etc. Government Printer, Melbourne, 1881, 35pp.
The Second Progress Report is an important source document which presents the findings of the Commission and is probably the rarest of the Commission papers. Although many contemporary authors give reference to this report, it was not readily available until it was reprinted in Ned Kelly. After a Century of Acrimony, John Meredith and Bill Scott, Lansdowne Press, Sydney, 1980, 83pp. (This work also contains nine letters written or dictated by Kelly, and one of the most comprehensive bibliographies of Kellyana to date.)
This Second Progress Report also led to protests and rebuttals being lodged by Nicholson, Hare, Sadleir, Ward and Alexander which in turn led to Charges against members of the Police Force. Copies of any Communications the Chief Secretary may have received from Members of the Police with regard to the Charges against them in the Report of the Police Commission, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1881, 22pp., and Charges against members of the Police Force. Additional Return, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1881, 8pp.
Although 92 people applied for part of the Kelly reward, only 67 people were successful. The Kelly Reward Board. Report of the Board Appointed to enquire into and Report upon the Proper Mode of Distributing the Rewards Offered for the Capture of the Kelly Gang; Together with the Minutes of Evidence, Government Printer, Melbourne, 1881, 20pp., lists both the successful and unsuccessful applicants.
The first of the police accounts was Francis Augustus Hare\’s The last of the Bushrangers. An Account of the Capture of the Kelly Gang, Hurst and Blackett, London, 1892, 326pp. [F.10236]. Its popularity led to four editions (Ferguson notes two editions by Hurst and Blackett and one by Hennebury Company, Chicago, however Hurst and Blackett published three editions). It contains excellent source material relating to Kelly, however, as he was attempting to vindicate himself, it should be read in conjunction with the following title for a more even balance.
The most readable, and accurate of the police accounts is C.H. Chomley\’s The True Story of the Kelly Gang of Bushrangers, Pater & Co., Printers, Melbourne, 1900, 159pp. [F.8155]. There were various issues by various publishers including a cloth cover edition bound with his Tales of Old Times. Early Australian Incident and Adventure, W.T. Pater & Co., Melbourne, 1903, 160pp. Although he refers to several bushrangers in his Tales of Old Times, there are no references to Kelly.
A latecomer to the police accounts was John Sadleir\’s Recollections of a Victorian Police Officer, George Robertson & Company, Melbourne, 1913, 312pp. (Penguin Colonial Facsimile, 1973). As with Hare\’s narrative, Sadleir also used this chronicle to justify his actions.
Two further authors could be classified on the side of law and order. The first is Henry A. White, Crimes and Criminals; or Reminiscences of the Penal Department in Victoria, Berry, Anderson & Co., Ballarat, 1890, 248pp. [F.18464]. White was an officer in the Victorian prisons and he devotes a small section (3 pages) to Kelly in this work. I have read (I thought in Biblionews) that a second (paper wrappers) edition of this work was issued with a larger section on Kelly (29 pages). The reference stated that this edition was in the possession of George Mackaness, however, only the cloth covered edition was listed in his catalogue and I can find no further reference to this paper wrapper edition.
White\’s work was, however, altered considerably and republished as Tales of Crime and Criminals in Australia, Ward and Downey Ltd., London, 1894, 296pp. [F.18465]. In this London edition the references to general bushranging have been condensed, and the information regarding Ned Kelly has been extended to twelve chapters.
The second is A.L. Haydon, The Trooper Police of Australia. A Record of Mounted Police Work in the Commonwealth From the Earliest Days of the Settlement to the Present Time, Andrew Melrose, London, 1911, 426pp. Haydon\’s work contains a chapter on Kelly which is rather accurate albeit pro police. In his opening paragraph he states:
Quite a literature exists on the subject of their history, while to the present day the Kelly drama, with some meretricious ornamentation, is enacted in all its terrible verisimilitude on stage and bioscope for the edification of a younger generation. In some quarters, unfortunately, there has been a tendency to glorify their exploits, to invest these common thieves and cut-throats with a false glamour of romance. Such a tendency is to be deplored. One does not willingly linger on the sordid details of their crimes, but from a police point of view it is important that the story of the Kellys should be told at some length.
A number of early travel reminiscences carried information on Kelly. Henry W. Nesfield in his A Chequered Career; or, Fifteen Years in Australia and New Zealand, Richard Bently and Son, London, 1881, 369pp., [F.13143] (new edition 1887 [F.13144] ), gives a small reference to the New Zealand bushrangers Sullivan, Burgess, Kelly and Levy. His section on Ned Kelly was written while the gang was still at large and he concludes by stating the general opinion of people is that the gang has left the Colony.
John Singleton\’s strong religious convictions dominates his A Narrative of Incidents in the Eventful Life of a Physician, M.L. Hutchinson, Melbourne, 1891, 414pp. [F.15732]. Singleton writes of the Nelson robbery, the McIvor Gold Escort robbery, of meeting Bradley & Connor [sic – O\’Connor] and Condron, Green & Dixon [sic – Condon, Jackson & Green]. He also met Francis McNeish McNeil McCallum better known as Captain Melville, both before and after the attempted escape from the hulk, and reprints a letter which he states was written by Melville. He apparently met Ned Kelly, but was not permitted to see him again.
Chapter fifteen of Frederick C. Spurr\’s Five Years Under the Southern Cross. Experiences & Impressions, Cassell & Co., London, 1915, 295pp., is entitled \”The Highwaymen of the Bush\” and deals with the exploits of bushrangers, including the Kelly Gang.
Another early volume (although more an historical work than a reminiscence) which contains a chapter devoted to Kelly is Adventure & Adventurers Being True Tales of Daring, Peril, and Heroism, W. & R. Chambers Ltd., London, 1895, 288pp. (Not listed in Ferguson). The title page only states \”selected by the Editor\” however the name Robert Cochrane appears as editor on the original pictorial cloth covers, both on the front and spine. This chapter, entitled \”The Ironclad Bushrangers\”, was compiled from newspaper reports and hearsay and consequently contains several errors and discrepancies.
There were quite a number of early historical works either incorporating Kelly or devoted to Kelly. One publication which ran into several reprints was F. Hunter\’s The Origin, Career and Destruction of the Kelly Gang. Also the Adventures of Captain Moonlite, A.T. Hodgson, Adelaide, n.d. (1895), 86pp. [F.10679b]. Even though it was reprinted at least four times, today it is a rare, and interesting, piece of Kellyana.
Another work which ran into numerous editions was Joseph C. Harvie\’s The Convict Hulk \”Success.\” The Story of her life, and the lives of those who filled her cells, Spectator Publishing Co. Ltd., Melbourne, 1891, 80pp. [F.10277 & 13592 same edition]. The first edition did not carry Harvie\’s name, but \”Old Time\”. When it was re-issued as The History of the Convict Hulk \”Success\” and the \”Success\” Prisoners, Petty & Sons, Ltd., Leeds, n.d. (1895), 80pp., it states by Joseph C. Harvie.
This publication was printed to sell on board the \”Success\” after it had been converted into a floating museum. The museum was displayed around Australia, New Zealand and England between 1891 and 1912 when it was sold to American speculators. Harvie\’s volume contains chapters on a number of bushrangers including Garrett, Melville, Gipsy Smith, Owen Suffolk, Morgan, Power and Kelly which are dramatically written and, apart from several inaccuracies, well researched.
While the \”Success\” was touring America a revamped edition of Harvie\’s work appeared as The History of the Convict Ship \”Success\”. And Dramatic Story of Some of the Prisoners of the Convict Ship, printed by Jontzen Printing Co., Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 1929, 191pp. (Cover title reads History of the Ancient Australian Convict Ship \”Success\” and Its Most Notorious Prisoners. Compiled from Governmental records and documents preserved in British Museums and State Departments in London. . . . The Darkest Chapter of England\’s History.) This edition carries additional, and in some cases outlandish, information particularly in the bushranging sections. One example is the statement that \”Red\” Kelly, Ned\’s father, arrived in Van Diemen\’s Land on the \”Success\”.
Dr. W.H. Lang incorporated four chapters on Kelly in his Australia. Romance of Empire, T.C. & E.C. Jack Ltd., Edinburgh, n.d. , 300pp. Various issues. This work also contains a small chapter on general bushranging and two chapters on Morgan. There are several discrepancies, however it does give an interesting perspective on Kelly. It also contains colour illustrations by G.W. Lambert, one of which portrays Mrs. Skillion (Ned\’s sister) mounted on her horse in front of the burning Jones Inn.
One of the first historical works (as distinct from fiction and prose) to project a case for Kelly turning to crime is James J. Kenneally\’s The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang and Their Pursuers, Reviews Ltd., Melbourne, 1929, 268pp. Numerous reprints. Kenneally\’s presentation is fairly accurate with regard to historical data, however, as it portrays a very sympathetic point of view, it should be read in conjunction with the police accounts for a more even balance.
There has been a consistent flow of historical works on Ned Kelly over the years, the following is only a small selection;
KINGSTON, Charles. A Gallery of Rogues. Stanley Paul & Co. Ltd., London, 1924, 243pp. Contains a dramatic and racy chapter on Ned Kelly, embellished by the author\’s imagination.
NEARY, Henry H. The Kellys. Australia\’s Famous Bushrangers. A Short History Based on the Author\’s Personal Experience of the Times and Gleanings From Charles White\’s Early Writings. Lakemba, [Sydney] n.d. [c.1935], 39pp. An interesting little book, several mistakes, but worth tracking a copy down to read.
TURNBULL, Clive. (Introduction by) Ned Kelly. Being His Own Story of His Life and Crimes. Decorations by Adrian Feint. Hawthorn Press, Melbourne, 1942, unpaginated. (48pp.) (My copy has pages out of sequence. The third section was reversed incorrectly when printing verso so the numbering sequence, instead of reading, for example, 1 through to 8, it reads 1,6,7,4,5,2,3,8. The first line of this section begins with \”… brilliantly planned. Whatever part Joe Byrne had …\” the first line verso should read \”… that the police, under instruction …\”. My copy verso reads \”… woman who cherished the …\”. All other copies compared to date appear to be in correct sequence.) This is a reprint of the Cameron Letter (Euroa Letter) with introduction.
HUGHES, Right Hon. W.M. Crusts and Crusades. Tales of Bygone Days. Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1947, 237pp. A chapter entitled \”A Tale of the Kelly Gang\” which contains an account of the Jerilderie hold-up.
BROWN, Max. Australian Son. The Story of Ned Kelly. Georgian House, Melbourne, 1948, 282pp. Numerous reprints. One of the best accounts of the Kelly Gang. Includes the \”Jerilderie Letter\” printed verbatim. A must for any research on Kelly.
JENKS, F. \”Plugger\”. The Reign of the Kelly\’s. Bushranger Series No 1. Times Printing Works, Auckland, n.d. [1940s?], 32pp. The author\’s imagination certainly takes over on numerous occasions in this account of Kelly. One example (in hundreds) is Constable Fitzpatrick being shot \”through the chest\” by Ned, and then Fitzpatrick digging the bullet out with his own knife!!
BALLARD, Stan. The Authentic Story of Ned Kelly in Pictures. Written by J.J. Kenneally. Standard Newspapers Pty. Ltd., Melbourne, n.d. (192-? according to Australian National Bibliography 1901-1950 – 24083. This date is incorrect as this comic strip was also published in The Australian Boy Fortnightly Magazine Sept-Oct 1954. Further to this, the price of 2/- has been printed on the front cover under the title, a rather exorbitant price for this comic book in the 1920s. This comic book was published in either 1954 or 55.) Unpaginated (48pp.) Comic book presentation with an extremely pro Kelly bias
SPENCER, A.H. The Hill of Content. Books, Art, Music, People. Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1959, 246pp. Chapter entitled \”Ned Kelly, \’Last of the Bushrangers\’\”. Although the information in the chapter was drawn from an 1880 manuscript on Ned Kelly, in the author\’s possession, it has been written in a novel form with dialogue. He also quotes verbatim from Constable Kelly and Sergeant Steele\’s manuscripts.
MELVILLE, Robert. Ned Kelly. 27 paintings by Sidney Nolan. Thames and Hudson, London, 1964, 60pp. Sidney Nolan\’s paintings with Robert Melville\’s notes in which he \”…attempted to provide some sense of the mass of factual material from which Nolan has elicited his legendary figure.\” Numerous mistakes.
JENNINGS, M.J. Ned Kelly. The Legend and the Man. Hill of Content Publishing, Melbourne, 1968, 144pp. A wonderful collection of contemporary documents with a well written book. Excellent research information.
CAVE. Colin F. (Introduction by) Ned Kelly. Man and Myth. Cassell Australia, Melbourne, 1968, 216pp. (Reprint 1980. 218pp., with extra material added pp. 208-210). An interesting range of views and good research material. Comprises papers presented at the symposium held at the Wangaratta Adult Education Centre 1967.
HATHERLEY, Frank. (Compiler) Wanted Ned Kelly. Jackdaw Publications, London, n.d. . An excellent publication comprising a folder containing facsimiles of documents relating to Kelly. Good reference material.
JOHNSON, Dick & Shirley TURNER. Bold Ned Kelly. Activity Books for Young Australians. The Jabiru Press, Melbourne, 1977, 64pp. Well produced book containing puzzles and activities for children.
LITTLE, Ken. Ned Kelly. Bunyip Books. A.H. & A.W. Reed, Sydney, 1978, 29pp. Very glorified version of Kelly for young children learning to read.
BRIERLEY, Alec. An Illustrated History of the Kelly Gang. Melbourne University Press, 1978, 63pp. Wonderfully illustrated cartoons by Brierley with factual text.
McQUILTON, John. The Kelly Outbreak. 1878-1880. The Geographical Dimension of Social Banditry. Melbourne University Press, 1979, 250pp. This work cites Hobsbawm\’s description of social banditry, and presents a case that Kelly falls within Hobsbawm\’s guidelines. The appendix contains \”Kelly Literature a Brief Review\” which is also worth reading.
BLAKE, Les J. Young Ned. Neptune Press, Melbourne, 1980, 15pp. Well researched book on Ned Kelly\’s early years.
DUNSTAN, Keith. Saint Ned. The Story of the Near Sanctification of an Australian Outlaw. Methuen of Australia, Sydney, 1980, 127pp. An interesting and witty look at the Kelly legend.
HARDING, Frank. Bush Bred and Bold. 100th Anniversary of the Death of Ned Kelly and his gang. An Illustrated Record of their Life and Times. Frank Harding\’s Folklore Gallery, Renmark S.A., 1980, Unpaginated. (71pp.) Well presented and well researched book on Kelly with an excellent and thought provoking introduction.
MEREDITH, John & Bill SCOTT. Ned Kelly. After a Century of Acrimony. Lansdowne Press, Sydney, 1980, 183pp. As mentioned above.
MOLONY, John. I Am Ned Kelly. Allen Lane. / Penguin Books, Melbourne, 1980, 313pp. Well researched, well written work on Kelly.
McMENOMY, Keith. Ned Kelly. The Authentic Illustrated Story. Currey O\’Neil Ross, Melbourne, 1984, 269pp. One of the best books produced on Kelly. Presents the facts without taking sides. One of the most comprehensive collections of illustrations. A must for any research on Kelly.
LYNN, Elwyn & Bruce SEMLER. Sidney Nolan\’s Ned Kelly. The Ned Kelly Paintings in the Australian National Gallery and a selection of the artist\’s sketches for the series. Elwyn Lynn\’s story of the paintings with Sir Sidney Nolan\’s comments. The life of Ned Kelly and the story of the Kelly Gang [by Bruce Semler]. Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1985, 53pp. Well researched presentation on Ned Kelly by Bruce Semler. Interesting background information by Elwyn Lynn on Nolan\’s paintings.
PHILLIPS, John H. The Trial of Ned Kelly. The Law Book Company Limited, Sydney, 1987, 135pp. Looks at the trials of Ellen Kelly (Ned\’s mother) and Ned. Using primary sources, Phillips presents his work in dialogue form, and gives further information about the various characters.
ROSE, Deborah Bird. Ned Kelly Died For Our Sins. The 1988 Charles Strong Memorial Lecture. Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University, 1988, unpaginated (28pp). Looks at two Aboriginal Dream Time stories from the Victoria River District of the Northern Territory which include Ned Kelly. Reference is made to Professor Molony\’s book I am Ned Kelly.
CATHCART, Florence. Pictures on my Screen. Growing up in Kelly Country. Spectrum Publications, Richmond, Victoria, 1989, 137pp. Several good references to Ned Kelly in the early chapters with interesting local opinion of the gang.
JONES, Ian. The Friendship that Destroyed Ned Kelly. Joe Byrne & Aaron Sherritt. Lothian Publishing Company, Port Melbourne, 1992, 240pp. A very interesting and extremely well researched work which examines the death of Sherritt.
MATTA, Marian. (Editor) Ned Kelly Seminar Papers. 13th / 14th November 1993. Published by the CAE, [Melbourne], 1994, 52pp. Contains papers delivered at Beechworth, Victoria by Keith McMenomy, Ian Jones (two papers), The Chief Justice of Victoria, His Honor John H. Phillips, Dr. John McQuilton and Jane Clark.
JONES, Ian. Ned Kelly. A Short Life. Lothian Books, Port Melbourne, 1995, 404pp. This work takes an intimate look at Kelly, the events and the people written after 54 years of research. Ian also wrote and produced (in conjunction with his wife) the award winning mini-series The Last Outlaw.
As well as historical publications, there were a number of fictional works which incorporated, or were based on, Ned Kelly. One of the earliest fictional works was James Skipp Borlase\’s Ned Kelly the Ironclad Australian Bushranger. Complete. Alfred J. Isaacs and Sons, London, n.d. , 456pp. (See Biblionews Vol. 21 No. 2 – 310th Issue, page 55 and notes.)
W. Carlton Dawe wrote Mount Desolation: An Australian Romance, Cassell, London, 1892, which is a bushranging novel / romance set in north-eastern Victoria with some exploits based on Kelly.
Nat Gould\’s Stuck Up, Dymocks Book Arcade, Sydney. / Routledge, London. 1894, 312pp., is another work based on Ned Kelly with a name change to Carey.
A favorite of mine is Cecil Hayter\’s Ned Kelly: A Tale of Trooper & Bushranger. No. 44. – \”The Boys\’ Friend\” 3d. Library. The Aldine Publishing Company, n.d. [c.1910], 120pp., which is another fictitious story based very loosely on Ned Kelly. A sequel was entitled Trooper and Bushranger; or, The Last Days of Ned Kelly, No. 45 – \”The Boys\’ Friend\” 3d. Library. The Aldine Publishing Company. n.d. [c.1910], 120pp. (This work actually finishes on p.113. and the last 7pp. carries the story \”The Case of the Opium Smoker.\”)
Another story incorporating both fact and fiction is Iron Ned Kelly and His Gang. A Personal History of Australia\’s Most Notorious Bushrangers and a record of their most eventful career of highway robbery, horse stealing, romance and murder, Modern Publishing Co., Sydney, n.d. [c.1908], 184pp. [F.11074] Numerous editions. (Although in Ferguson, of all copies inspected, the addresses of the publisher and printer, when compared with Sands Directory, date copies post 1900.) When reading the title, one would expect an accurate history, except for the word \”romance\”.
A very popular work was Charles E. Taylor\’s The Girl Who Helped Ned Kelly, United Press, Melbourne, 1929, 247pp. It is a novel relating to the Kelly Gang with many fictitious characters included. The last 4 pp. is a brief résumé of the Kelly Gang history.
David Martin used Kelly in his children\’s book The Girl who Didn\’t Know Kelly, Hutchinson, Melbourne, 1985, 161pp. This story relates the tale of Kit, the daughter of a bank manager in Beechworth in 1880. The Kelly Gang is interwoven in her personal life as she becomes aware that she is growing into a woman.
With the strong influence of the American \’Westerns\’ during the 30s, 40s and 50s, it\’s not surprising that several works have taken on an American characteristic. Edwin T. Woodhall\’s The Kelly Gang. A Novel, Mellifont Press Ltd., London, n.d. [c.1940], 96pp., is a classic example – even the cover depicts six cowboys \”sticking-up\” a \”stagecoach\”.
\”Lucky\” Doolan\’s The Kelly Gang Rides, L. Clapperton, Melbourne, n.d. [c.1940], 48pp., is a juvenile comic strip which presents a westernised version of the Kelly story and even has the Kellys dressed in 1940s style clothing.
Although William Lynch\’s King of the Road, Texan Western No. 33., The Whitman Press Pty. Ltd., Sydney, n.d. [c.1940], 48pp., is a novel based loosely on Frank Gardiner, he refers to other bushrangers including Ned Kelly (who, when this novel was set, was not to become known for another 16 years!)
For the collector of Kellyana, this article is only scraping the surface. Many more titles could be added including works by; Frank Clune, Graham Jones, George Farwell, W.H. Fitchett, Charles White, Graham Seal, Kevin Passey, Eric Lambert, Geoffrey Bond, Jack Bradshaw, Charles Osborne and Bill Wannan to name but a few. Added to this are; children\’s books, local histories, family histories, plays, musicals, prose/poetry, further reminiscences, magazines, newspapers and even computer programs.
Michael and John O\’Brien produced an extremely well researched and very enjoyable computer game entitled Wanted Ned Kelly, Newbyte Educational Software, Dudley. / Ashton Scholastic, Sydney, 1994. This IBM (or compatible) computer game includes a map of the Kelly area and 24 page reference manual. The school version contains an 88 leaf teachers\’ manual with reprints of the Cameron and Jerilderie letters, activities, puzzles and bibliography.
You are asked, as a special investigator, to track down and capture the Kellys after the Stringybark shootings; the Europe Bank robbery; and Jerilderie Bank robbery (three different games). You have 15 days time limit for each event (when travelling between towns and camps the time clock speeds up) and you interview people involved in the original events e.g. Constable McIntyre, people at Younghusband\’s Station, Bank manager John Tarleton, etc. Every game has the Kellys starting and moving in different directions – the sooner you capture them the greater the reward money. However, you have to respond quickly on your \’mouse\’ as the Kelly Gang can catch you!
The Victorian Review
Jung in his Australia The Country and its Inhabitants
Charges against members of the Police Force
Augustus Hare\’s The last of the Bushrangers
Chomley\’s The True Story of the Kelly Gang
Sadleir\’s Recollections of a Victorian Police Officer
White Crimes and Criminals
Nesfield in his A Chequered Career
The History of the Convict Hulk \”Success\”
BALLARD, Stan The Authentic Story of Ned Kelly in Pictures
Little, Ken Ned Kelly
Cecil Hayter\’s Ned Kelly: A Tale of Trooper & Bushranger
Iron Ned Kelly and His Gang. A Personal History
Woodhall\’s The Kelly Gang. A Novel
Doolan\’s The Kelly Gang Rides
Lynch\’s King of the Road