Friday 30 January 2015

Book Review: "Glenrowan" by Ian Shaw

"Captain Frederick Hare didn’t know it, but the Kelly gang was in town, and holding up the Bank around the corner. He looked out past the faded orange calico curtains of his  2 room Police Cottage at  Greta and decided it was time for a cup of tea.  “English breakfast or Chinese Green?"  he wondered as he filled his kettle a little over three quarters full, as he always did with luke warm water from the squeaky kitchen tap that needed a washer replaced, and then he struck a match to get the fire started. The first match went out, he tossed it into the little stack of kindling already set in the fireplace and struck another – there were only five matches left in the box which when new had over 60, but this time, the paper, torn from last weeks Argus caught fire, and the tiny flames spread and grew, they spread and grew until the kindling began to burn with a flicker and after 3 or perhaps 4 minutes the fire was burning brightly. Hare set the old battered kettle down carefully, its loose handle rattling, and looked back out of the window : a small crowd of people had gathered across the road – he counted them, being a meticulous Police Commissioner : three adults and a child.  Father Morton he recognized at once, his black cloak moving in the wind, and old Joseph Ingleheim the Austrian store keeper with the bad hip. And was that Mrs O’ Reilly and her daughter Megan, the one who could by memory, recite the entire list of the 24 Books of the Old Testament? They were looking at a cat that had died, the tabby that octogenarian Mrs Mitchell had nursed through its old age, but time had finally caught up to it, and it went to sleep at her front gate never to wake again. “Shes going to be upset for sure” muttered Father Morton, the kindly Priest from the Catholic mission, shaking his head. “To be sure” said Mrs O’Reilly as Megan wiped away a tear. They all wondered silently to themselves “Who was going to be the one to go and tell her?”

Yes, this is my review of “Glenrowan: The  Legend of Ned Kelly and the siege that shaped a nation” – to give the book  its full title -  by Ian Shaw, published in 2012. Ive just downloaded it to my Kindle, and read it over the New Year break. Here now is my Review,  and I have to start by warning the reader not to go looking in it for the paragraph above about the dead cat  – its not in the book. That’s   because I wrote it myself, just now, after wondering if I could just as easily as Ian Shaw construct boring writing that misses the point, lists the names  and trivial details of irrelevant people, is full of errors, and that leaves you wondering why bother?

Yes, I know its an exaggerated and unfair parody but that I am afraid expresses what I mostly felt after finishing a book that I had higher hopes for. This book nearly drove me insane!

To start with, one buys a book called “Glenrowan” because one wants to read about – wait for it - Glenrowan! But Shaw cant help himself and begins with a condensed version of the entire Kelly history that one has to wade through first, but it’s a version that is too short to contain anything really useful, but long enough to contain hideously superficial and inadequate accounts of all manner of Kelly stories, such as this:
“That was good thought Ned, because this was not a social visit to one of his family’s many friends in the township or its surrounds. Tonight was business for Ned. Business that began when he and his friends were hounded into outlawry by the police and the powers of the state who directed what the Police should do” 


I decided to ignore the problems in these accounts and skate past Neds early life, past the Fitzpatrick incident, past Stringybark Creek, Euroa and Jerilderie, as Shaw had done and anticipate something more substantial beginning much closer to the incident itself, the area of Shaws declared fascination.

And sure enough (pun intended!) by the time the chronology had reached Aarons hut and everything that followed his murder, the microscope came out and a very detailed description of the exact sequence of events followed. …except….except that now there was way too much of it! Now it was fact after fact and name after name and a rather clinical description that tried to line everything up and make it all sensible and comprehensible, who was behind this tree or that, the distances between them, what time was it when constable A said such and such to Sergeant B, where Dan stood when Hare fired in that direction…… when in fact, there was chaos, noise, smoke, shouting, fear, screaming and bleeding and darkness and flames and flashes and the moon coming and going behind clouds, troops, Blacks, children and babies, death,rockets, horses…colour, movement, drama…but Shaw seems to have missed all that -  there’s nothing really gripping in his storytelling, and for me, it all falls flat.

Compare these descriptions by two Ians of Ned under fire, and you will see what I mean:

“ Every time a bullet struck his armour Ned staggered  as the impact was like being punched by a powerful man. The shots that struck his helmet were particularly painful without the skullcap that had absorbed some of the impact before” (Ian Shaw; Glenrowan)

and now this: 

“The way to the Inn was opening up, but Ned found himself advancing into a broad half-circle of gunfire with bullets hitting him “like blows from a mans fist.” Arthurs shots had hurt and blackened both his eyes. The unpadded face plate of his helmet was smashed back against his cheeks, its top edge chopping skin from the bridge of his nose and a bolt end ripping the side of his face. Somehow he stayed on his feet and kept stumbling forward, his weakened legs and smashed right foot supporting the fantastic weight of his armour.” (Ian Jones; A Short Life)

See what I mean?

Later, when Kelly is captured, the Helmet is removed to reveal what it was doing to Neds face, and Shaw records this in clinical detail, but in these quotes you see the skill of Ian Jones, incorporating those same facts into the narrative to bring it to life. 

So I ploughed on through the book hoping that perhaps Shaws particular obsession with Glenrowan rather than other events in the story would lead to an analysis of what Glenrowan was really all about, because there are still many unanswered questions about the entire incident. What was Ned REALLY hoping to achieve there? What WERE those rockets intended to signify? Why Glenrowan and not some other town? What would the outcome have been if it had all gone to plan? Exactly how and where were those mouldboards turned into armour, and where did the inspiration for the armour come from? What about the “Republic”? Were the Police REALLY as trigger-happy as some make out or were there just a few nutjobs among them? What about those persisting rumours about Dan and Steve - did they poison themselves, commit suicide with their revolvers or escape? What about Ann Jones being a collaborator, about the shadowy band of sympathizers lurking on the fringes….so many questions!

Sadly, I was again disappointed, not only to read passages that were screaming out for elaboration and explanation, but also to read what Shaw passed off as some sort of attempt at analysis:

“Ultimately though, Glenrowan is the story of an incident given historical significance by the reactions of a number of individuals responding to a specific set of circumstances. These circumstances were generated partly by social, political and economic inequalities that had grown and festered in Colonial Victoria. Ned through his personal and natural leadership qualities was the lightening rod that brought a lot of these issues to a head, partly through what he and others read into what were really just a series of criminal events.”

This last paragraph is so vague and so sweeping a generalization that it is true of almost everything in the universe – and therefore empty; substitute “Glenrowan” and the other proper nouns for any other thing you care to name – “The Cricket test at the  MCG”, or “The discovery of chalk” or “Facebook ” - and it remains true, but explains absolutely nothing.

The books subtitle is "The siege that shaped a nation" but there is precious little discussion of how that is true, if indeed it is. One is left wondering.....

So for me at least, this is where the book fails. It details everything with precision but you are left without any real understanding  of what actually happened, and without a sense of the drama and the horror and the great chaos of human endeavor that makes this subject such an awful and hypnotic moment in the history of Australia. This was the weekend where the great legend of Ned Kelly sprang impossibly out of the squalid history of  poverty,  the hateful criminality and outrages of the  Kelly gang, the moment of longed for redemption for the whole lot of them, but if this  was the only book ever written about it, nobody would have ever known.

2 Stars.

Monday 26 January 2015

Ned Kelly Dreaming : The Republic of North East Victoria

At the centre of  the modern Kelly Gang story is the belief that Ned Kelly, the champion of the poor and oppressed, planned to solve the problems besetting the selectors of North East Victoria and rid the place of corrupt Police and oppressive Government control by declaring the region a Republic.

However, as is noted on the Iron Outlaw web site “Their grand plan to derail a special police train, seize the hostages and declare a Republic of North East Victoria came to a fiery end at Glenrowan”

In fact, as I shall show, this idea that the gang had a plan to declare the North East a Republic is a modern invention rather than a scheme that was ever in the minds of the Kelly Gang. It is a myth that has evolved out of a distaste for the Gangs repugnant intent for Glenrowan, an attempt to ascribe to that “stratagem” motives more in keeping with the image now preferred of Ned Kelly, that he was a visionary and an Icon, that Glenrowan was some sort of echo of Eureka, that Kelly was an idealist in the mold of Lalor.  

For a century it was accepted that the Kelly Gangs plan had some combination of wreck a train, massacre police and anyone else who got in the way, take hostages, rob more banks, negotiate freedom for Gang, negotiate release from prison of Ellen Kelly. However, over the subsequent century, as Ned Kellys iconic status continued to grow, Glenrowan remained as a glaring blemish, and new explanations were sought to explain its “madness” as Ian Jones called it.  What Ned Kelly himself said about Glenrowan wasn’t enough, it was ignored.  Somehow the notion of a Republic was conjured up to re-cast Glenrowan as some sort of popular Republican uprising, and now Ian Jones could write  “The Glenrowan campaign is inexplicable without the central carefully obscured fact of the republic”. Problem solved: Neds image tidied up.

Ian Jones – and Kelly Republicans generally – claim it took a Century to uncover this truth because it was treasonous, the penalty was death and so the whole plot was “carefully concealed”.   In fact, according to Jones it was so well concealed thatOne Police agent broke the inner circle of sympathizers and heard about the armor being made though he failed to learn of the republic” . What we have here is Jones failing to find evidence of the republican Plot  even from spies who infiltrated the “inner circle”  but instead of accepting that as counting against the possibility that there was ever a Republican plot, he turns it upside down and says he has found proof of how incredibly secret it all was. This is approaching conspiracy theory madness. The simplest explanation of why it was that the spy didn’t hear about a Republic, is that no-one was talking about it – a Republican plot was NOT on their agenda; if it had been, it would have been front and center of everything they were doing and talking about.Sooner or later, something would have come to light. Secrets are impossible to keep for very long among a group said to number hundreds.As for keeping it secret because it was punishable by death : the Gang were already Outlaws and under sentence of death, so it could hardly have been made worse - in fact, Publicity may have rallied more people to their cause and made their job a lot easier - so I reject that nonsense about secrecy and treason. 

In fact there is nothing apart from conjecture to support the modern contention that the Kelly Gang had higher political ambitions and were planning to declare a Republic.

Here’s the first huge problem for the “Republicans”: Ned Kelly himself NEVER EVER said anything about a Republic, not a single word anywhere. Not one!  And it was not as if Ned Kelly never had anything to say : he lectured everyone and anyone who would listen, - or he could force to listen - at length and about all manner of topics, and he wrote numerous letters not just before but after his capture, when the game was up , he was interviewed at length by Lawyers and Police – but he never breathed a single word about a Republic.  And neither did anyone else, either sympathizer or informer, at the time or at any time following the destruction of the Kelly gang, ever. Not one word! This silence is more than deafening – its thunderous! And it lasted for 100 years.

Heres the next problem for the Republicans: none of the early books written about the Kelly Gang contained even a hint of a Republic. Its not in Kenneallys 1929 book, its not in Max Browns 1948 book, and its not in Frank Clunes 1954 book. These last two authors had access to the long lost Jerilderie Letter and neither of them discerned the slightest aroma of Republic within it. These authors knew about Rockets and about Sympathisers but never saw these as evidence that a republican movement was developing. Instead they reported Kellys motivation, at its noblest, to be about getting his mother out of prison and the Gang off the hook. At its worst it was about revenge and a desire to kill Police and Black Trackers. But these ideas are not guesses at Kellys motivation : they are based on what Kelly actually said.
“Ned claimed there was an alternative plan: capture the leaders of the Police and take them into the bush and allow the superintendent to write to the head of department and inform them that if they send any more Police after me or try to rescue him I would shoot him and that I intended to keep them prisoners until the release of my mother, Skillion and Williamson”
In another statement of the plan Kelly reportedly said
 “I was determined to capture Superintendent O’Hare , O’Connor and the blacks for the purpose of exchange of prisoners” (Ian Jones: A Short Life)

No doubt someone will correct me on this – I haven’t yet read every Kelly book – but I think the author who introduced the reader to the Republic idea, one entire century after the Kelly Gang had  been vanquished, was Molony in 1980. Ian Jones leapt on the bandwagon and  had lots more to say about it in his book in 1995, and every writer since then has further entrenched the idea to the point nowadays where it is an unquestioned central tenet of the Kelly Canon. But where did Molony get this idea? This is the next big problem for the republicans.

Chapter 13 of Molonys 1980 book is called ‘Captain of the Northeast’ and its here that he begins to develop the idea of a Republic:
“..and so it happened that on a Sunday in the winter of  1879, at Greta in the northeast a group of men, among them Ned met and talked of a republic….”
And later  he writes
“They recorded their deliberations in childrens schoolbooks”

The reference for this is provided in Note 4 to the chapter:
“Mr Thomas Lloyd told me that as a boy he had seen the ‘exercise books’ containing the ‘minutes’ of those meetings.” According to Molony his interest in the Kelly story didn’t start till 1976, so that was presumably when Mr Lloyd told him this.

The curious thing is that over ten years earlier the same Mr. Lloyd, then aged 56 told Ian Jones something quite different: he is reported to have told Mr Jones in 1964  that it was his FATHER who had seen the exercise books “as a boy”. This claim is in itself a problem because if the Exercise books were being filled in 1879, Mr Lloyds father was 22 at the time, by no means “a boy”. This means that if he was truly remembering something he saw  “as a boy”, then it wasn’t exercise books about the Republic: They didn’t exist when he was “a boy”. On the other hand, if he did see exercise books in 1879 but thinks he was a boy at the time, then he is confused , because he wasn’t a boy in 1879 and so his recollection of what they were about cannot be relied on. This is another huge problem for the Kelly republicans.

Its interesting to think about what happened to Mr Lloyds memory over the years between his Jones interviews – there were three – and his interview with Molony: in fact what has happened is that a false memory has been created from a story he was told by his father – and this is a well recognized phenomenon that has been demonstrated in experiments.  It’s a very nice example of how Myths are created from oral history.

The next big problem for the republicans is their fond belief that somewhere out there is a document, a declaration of the Republic of North East Victoria, possibly taken from Neds pocket when he was arrested, that ended up in London and was seen by a Journalist in 1962. I seem to recall reading that it was only later that he realized its significance. The fact is that more than half a century has passed since that day, and nobody else has seen it, despite extensive searches being made. Develop a conspiracy theory about its disappearance if you wish, but the simplest and most likely explanation for its disappearance is that it never existed. Even a “highly reputable witness” – as Jones calls his informant – can be wrong. 

Now, Chris H said that it was “absurd” for me to claim that there is no evidence for the Republic idea. He regards the talk about  a republic document, Mr Lloyds recollections and various other things as “evidence” though concedes they may not “add up to an awful lot”. I agree – they add up to almost nothing. An actual Declaration would be evidence, as would the exercise books, but I am not sure that conjecture about them is evidence. Perhaps I should have written ‘no credible evidence” or  “no useful evidence”

Kate asks me “What sort of evidence do you expect there to be Dee?”  Well, its not incumbent on me to disprove the Republican Idea. As Ive written elsewhere its  impossible to prove that a thing doesn’t exist. Its actually incumbent on those who claim that something exists to prove it – so, as Republicans say there was an actual Declaration they have to provide it, they have to find the exercise books or the Documents they say exist. I am not sure how long its reasonable to search for the required evidence before one can call time on the search, and conclude that no such evidence exists, but I certainly don’t believe anymore in Faeries at the bottom of the Garden, the Tooth Fairy, Little Green Men from Mars or the Easter Bunny. I cant prove that any of these creatures don’t exist, but I have waited long enough for the evidence and none has turned up. I am moving on and I think the same should be done in respect of the Republican Plot.

And Kate, you are absolutely right about my statement that "if something is claimed to exist but there is no actual evidence for it, its not rational to believe it" then “that would deny the existence of a number of religions” The thing that needs to be understood about Religions, and the Kelly religion is no different, is that it is NOT based on evidence or reason, but on Faith -  this is precisely why religions continue to exist, why people believe in the Kelly religion because they are NOT based on reason and evidence, but as you say, if they were, they would cease to exist. The great central evil of religions is to elevate Faith – which is belief without evidence – to a higher moral plane than reason – because once you have persuaded your devotees that Faith is everything, they are then immune to reason and evidence and can and are often persuaded to believe anything and do anything.

Here it is in Christianity : Thomas is rebuked by Jesus for wanting evidence and told that the people who believe without asking for evidence are Blessed:
“The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

I am on the side of Thomas. Here endeth todays Lesson!

Friday 23 January 2015

Dee is not Ian, but John Molony is Ned Kelly:

I am Ned Kelly” was published in 1980, a century after Ned Kellys execution, and was re-released as just "Ned Kelly” in 2001. Author John Molony says in the Preface that he decided to write it when he learned in 1976 that the State Government of Victoria had decided not to formally recognize the anniversary. He claims till then to have regarded Ned Kelly as “someone best forgotten” so why  he decided to ‘remember’ him when the Government was proposing to do exactly what he thought was “best” is something of  a mystery. But this whole book is something of a mystery.

“The historian like the lawyer, holds a brief but his is for the dead whose lips are sealed. He is not compelled to pick up the brief but, once done, his task takes on its own sacredness”

These revealing words of John Molony, also in the Preface to “I am Ned Kelly” are the key to understanding what this book is all about, and unless you understand them first, you will misunderstand the entire book. From what I have read of others reviews of this book, I think very few people have “got it” – most I think have missed it completely.  What he is saying there is that in writing about Ned Kelly, he regarded it as his sacred duty to speak for him, to unseal his lips and to tell the story from the place where Ned Kelly stood and from where he viewed the world, to say what Ned might have wanted to say, perhaps to try to show what it might have been like to actually be Ned Kelly, perhaps to try to get into his mind and understand his thinking.

This deliberate and extremely subjective approach to history telling is  the opposite of mainstream academic approaches to history telling, which prizes objectivity. But a subjective and personal approach arguably makes biography a lot easier to write, because the entire “other side of the story” can just be ignored, balance is not required, the context is narrowed down to the immediate confines of the protagonist, and because state of mind and motivation, indeed all thought is unseen and untraceable, anything can be postulated about it. Never the less, conceivably you might gain some useful insight into the mind and motivation of the subject. What it would be a mistake to do,  reading a work of this kind is to believe you are necessarily getting the full picture, or all the relevant facts, or an understanding of what REALLY happened, because you are not. And that’s because a biography written on behalf of “the dead whose lips are sealed” is not intended to be that kind of biography, one that puts things in context and tries to see the whole picture. No, this kind of biography is intended to tell one mans story, and in this case its Neds: it is absolutely crucial to understanding this book to understand that truth about it. If you read it thinking it’s a history book about the facts, you’ve got it wrong : the clue is in the title - its about being Ned Kelly.

The first thing that strikes the reader of this book is the style of writing, which is closer to the rhythms and phrasing and language of an epic poem than ordinary prose. It reminded me at first of Shakespeare and the King James Bible,  or perhaps the Book of Mormon, definitely not “Jerilderie letter” but more than anything of translations from Greek of the Legends about  Ulysses, another Hero. I wonder if it was these Epics that informed Molonys decision about how  he would tell Neds story, mimicking the style of Homers Odyssey? -  read these extracts and you will see what I mean:

Here in the home of his grandparents Ned first heard the tales that bade fair to make him an alien in the new land in which his sinews had been moulded and quickened. No history in the traditional sense  was ever taught by Old Quinn, nor by Red Kelly as they talked in the lilting soft tones of their people but in the tongue of a victorious invader, for the Gael was no longer theirs except in the brief  greetings, Diaduit –‘God be with you’ – or the fleeting wheel of Marys mysteries of the Rosary”

“Those years in which the clan in the northeast shaped its tortured destiny, etched out also to the inexorable path followed by others who quickened to that mountain air and grew to another fullness. Across the plains at Chiltern an eager child rapturously watched the wattle bloom and breathed in the heavy aroma of those golden pods scenting the air of spring afternoons”

“These new ones were not as those who had taught him a little of their wondrous skills as a boy at Avenel. They had not come in communion as fellow Australians  with the simple purpose of tracking game for the campfire. They had come to hunt Ned and those who  went with Ned, and their coming cast fear and pitched deep resentment into his soul. For he now knew that in very truth he was an outcast and a fugitive in the land that had given birth both to hunted and to hunters. One of them called Sambo longed for the far places and the familiar faces of his people in the north. He fell ill , pined away and died to be buried in anothers tribal ground, and it was fitting that he was put to rest as a pauper for he had come owning nothing and his spirit left the northeast as it had come”
If you were already familiar with more than just the barest outlines of the story, then at many places as you read, you would be surprised, because this version tells many things differently; if you were unfamiliar with the story you would miss them. Take the early incident involving Ned, McCormack, Gould , calf’s testicles and an assault. Ned ends up in Prison for the first time as a result of this fracas which in Molonys retelling, begins with this:

One thing was certain to the good constable. Greta and even the bush would be better places were young Kelly to find a more suitable residence during the coming summer. The presence in the township of a former Policeman, Jeremiah Cormack and his wife Margaret offered the possibility of arranging a respectable place for Ned to live

I have to confess I haven’t come across this suggestion before, that the “incident” was in some way a set-up involving the local Police and a retired Policeman, and neither Max Brown nor Ian Jones describe it in that way in their versions of the story, but Molony does. So who is right you might be tempted to ask ? Did Brown and  Ian Jones miss something? Or is Moloney making something up? The answer is actually that these are the wrong questions to be asking about this apparent difference : that’s because Molonys version is what he thinks was Neds understanding of what happened – that there must have been some sort of collusion between the Policeman and the former Policeman, that they were out to get him. And so that’s how he wrote the story, not to necessarily be true to the known facts, if indeed there were any, but to be true to the way he thinks Ned would have seen it.

When you get to the Fitzpatrick incident, there is something even more surprising, but only to anyone who has already seen Molonys 2011 video of the life of Ned Kelly. In that video he states bluntly that the Policeman was caught in the Kellys house, “trying to rape Kate” who was 14 or 15 at the time. In the book however, he tells a completely different story :

Dan requested a breathing space to take a meal before departing for Greta lockup as he had been out riding all day, so he and Alexander went back inside  where Ellen began to remonstrate with the Constable for his breach of hospitality, and asserted that her son would not be taken out from her presence that night. Actions followed words and Alexander was struck with the fire shovel which wounded him in the wrist

The clue to understanding this peculiar and dramatic variation  between Molonys versions is given in the video, where he goes on to say that because rape was such a dreadful social stigma, Ned insisted it be hushed up and not mentioned. In the video Moloney is telling us what he thinks actually happened – attempted rape – but in the book he is telling us the story he thinks Ned would have told : to protect his sisters reputation Ned wouldn’t have mentioned the rape and would have created a different story to hide it. And thats what is told in "I am Ned Kelly"

When you read about Glenrowan, among many things that surprise, is the assertion that Neds plan for Aaron didn’t involve killing him, that Ned was never told about what really happened to Aaron, that Ned intended to stop the train rather than allow it to crash, and that after tricking the Police into getting off, he would then commandeer the train and head south on a Bank robbing spree!

Remember that this is the story that Molony thinks Ned would have written, and then you understand what youre reading: its what Ned would have wanted you to believe, and its not necessarily the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Its actually Ned Kellys spin, putting the best possible face on everything – denying he wanted Aaron killed, denying he knew anything about the murder, denying he ever intended mass murder at Glenrowan, and the Police are corrupt and not to be trusted.  

Someone on the Iron Outlaw site gave this book 4.5 out of  5 stars in a brief mention, saying they regard this work as “one of the most accurately researched accounts of the Kelly outbreak”. I think this person missed the point of the book completely – it wasn’t intended to be a source of accurate facts about the Kelly outbreak, but a view of the outbreak from inside Ned Kellys helmet. So actually, it’s a rather clever book, closer in type in some respects to Peter Careys work of declared fiction the somewhat ironically titled “The True Story of the Kelly Gang”.

The last mystery of this work to be explained is why the title was changed from “I am Ned Kelly” to just “Ned Kelly”  in 2001, because as far as I can make out, thats the only difference between these two books. My guess is this : after 21 years looking out from inside that helmet, Molony became convinced that Ned Kellys view was all that there was to see, that the work was not just one persons view of the outbreak but the truth about it. The helmet became a trap from which he couldn’t escape, and so by the time of his You Tube lecture in 2011 he had forgotten he still had it on.

So, if you want to know what Ned wanted you to believe, read this book. But if you want to know if what Ned wanted you to believe is actually the truth about the Kelly Oubreak then you need to look elsewhere! This Blog is a good start! “I am Ned Kelly” is an interesting read and an unusual almost poetic book, but its too close to fiction for my liking. 

3 stars.