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Old September 24th, 2007, 07:31 AM
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'I was at the Kelly Gang round-up' by Judith Douthie (Mortimer)

I was intrigued by this book when I first came across it advertised on Ironoutlaw; it seems amazing that among the dozens of Kelly-related books written over the years there has until now been no attempt to tell the story of the Kelly Gang hostages.

The author Judith Douthie (Mortimer) has a personal connection - one of the hostages, David Mortimer, the brother-in-law of schoolteacher Thomas Curnow, was her great grandfather.

It's obvious that a lot of research has gone into the book and it does give a fascinating insight into the Glenrowan siege from the inside as it were; it's only a shame that poor editing lets it down a little. The book contains as much background information as the author has been able to find on each individual, with quite a few photographs as well.

I have read about half of the book at this stage. One interesting thing I came across was that apparently the Gang frequented McDonnell's hotel on the opposite side of the railway line to Mrs Jones' Inn for several months prior to the siege. (Paddy McDonnell was a well-known Kelly sympathiser.) They used 'aliases', Ned calling himself Jack Hoyle, Steve Hart went by the name Collie and Joe Byrne was called 'Sugar' because he was so sweet on the girls.

Here's an excerpt from the author's epilogue which sums things up quite nicely:

Quote:
Of every one of the hostages' families that I spoke with I was always assured that the person involved was a sympathiser of the Kelly's. I soon learned that if that person was not a sympathiser before the siege they were certainly one afterwards. The police did not make heroes of themselves for the treatment of those inside Ann Jones Inn in the June of 1880. As my great grandfather David Mortimer said 'We were not afraid of the bushrangers but we were afraid of the police'.

If there is one thing I would like to come out of this book, then it is that those educators of our children, who tell of Ned Kelly's life, tell them also of the other heroes involved in the story. Jack McHugh the man who rushed Johnny Jones out of the Inn in the midst of police fire, Robert Spaven who put his life at risk to get Johnny to hospital, Matthew Gibney who tried to save Dan and Steve and Thomas Curnow the man who betrayed Ned to save innocent people from certain death.
~Gem~
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Old September 24th, 2007, 08:59 AM
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Sounds fascinating and well worth having- thanks for that Gem! I might well get hold of a copy then.
Sugar...
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Old September 24th, 2007, 09:18 AM
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Sugar indeed....that did make me laugh. I must remember that, may come in useful in the future.

This does sound fascinating Gem. Will have to see if I can get a copy somewhere.
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Old September 24th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Just remember you didn't hear it from me, Ki...

I doubt the book would be widely available; it was only published in June this year and probably didn't have a huge print run anyway. You can order it through the trusty old Ironoutlaw at least.

~Gem~
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Old September 24th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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Just remember you didn't hear it from me, Ki...

I doubt the book would be widely available; it was only published in June this year and probably didn't have a huge print run anyway. You can order it through the trusty old Ironoutlaw at least.

~Gem~

Thanks Gem. Will have to look into it. I think I will save it for an appropriate moment..
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Old September 26th, 2007, 10:54 PM
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Thanks, Gem That sounds great and I think they named Joe appropriately
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Old September 27th, 2007, 03:20 AM
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Sugar. That's something we call each other in the South.
Now that give a whole new meaning the song from Def Leppard (showing my age here) Pour Some Sugar On Me. (please)

I'll just lay here and you can pour him all over me....

Snoey
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Old October 1st, 2007, 04:15 AM
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Thanks Gem it it would be an interesting read.

Sugar! Yep, that sounds right.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 06:38 PM
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I got mine today! Yippeee. Not sure if it is the sort of book to 'curl up' with but nonetheless am looking forward to starting it.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 10:27 PM
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Not enough Joe for that, Nuit... But it does make for interesting reading, to see the siege from the viewpoint of the people who were caught inside the Inn and how they didn't seem to blame the Gang.

~Gem~
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Old November 21st, 2007, 11:01 PM
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Wow, sounds quite fascinating. Sugar, how apt! After all the "unofficial" proof out there now, one seems to automatically feel for the Gang and understand the support from the public they received - they were at large for quite some time as it was, and certainly would have been caught much earlier if most didn't sympathise with them.

Thanks Gem.

cheers
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 08:19 AM
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I am about 1/3 way through and yeah is fascinating, and very moving. I must say I loved the bit from Ann Jones, being questioned after the siege (she was prosecuted for harbouring criminals) by a Mr Chomley who quotes her as saying that’ poor Steve hart was such a nice fellow, and that Joseph Byrne was the nicest man she had ever seen’. ;P
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Old November 22nd, 2007, 08:02 PM
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I must say I loved the bit from Ann Jones, being questioned after the siege (she was prosecuted for harbouring criminals) by a Mr Chomley who quotes her as saying that’ poor Steve hart was such a nice fellow, and that Joseph Byrne was the nicest man she had ever seen’. ;P
¡Aaaww! Now I feel the urge to watch the movie again....run to my dvd player....
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