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  #1  
Old November 7th, 2007, 11:46 PM
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'Ned Kelly a short life' by Ian Jones

I honestly feel ashamed that I have not read this book before and can offer no excuses. Ian Jones is one of the top Kelly experts in Australia and he has a lovely writing style which makes it such a joy to read this book, especially compared to some other Kelly books that really should never have seen the light of day. But I digress...

This book was first published in 1995, with a special edition in 1996 and reprints in 1995, 1996, 1999, 2000 and 2002. I got the latest edition, published in 2003 (ISBN 0 7344 0544 8):

Quote:
This long-awaited new edition of the critically acclaimed book contains new material in the text, notes and illustrations, and includes the full text of the Jerilderie Letter. It includes the results of new research, fleshing out the life and the legacy of this extraordinarily influential man, and examines the profound impact he continues to have on Australia's national psyche.
There is about three hundred pages worth of text, numerous pages of photographs (some I'd never seen before) and illustrations, fifty-odd pages of notes plus the transcription of the Jerilderie Letter prepared by Joe Crowley with pagination following the original, all spelling and punctuation faithfully reproduced.

In short, a must-have for any serious Kelly sympathiser!

Will be back later with more.

~Gem~
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Old November 8th, 2007, 07:25 PM
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Thanks Gem, I think I will get that 'eye witness at Glenrowan' one and this at the same time, bundle them all into packaging then. I always get excited at mail from australia!
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Old November 9th, 2007, 06:05 AM
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Here's something I wanted to share from the book. This happened a week after Stringybark Creek when Ned and the boys had covered more than 200 miles (more than 320 km) in their doomed attempt to cross the flooded Murray River into New South Wales and had decided to turn back.

Quote:
Opposite the Everton Railway Station was the Victoria Hotel and Dining Rooms run by young Henry Vandenberg and his wife Mary. This Saturday night Henry was away, working on the railway. Scots-born Mary had closed up for the night and was going to bed when she heard 'the rattle of a whip on the door'. She took a lamp and unlocked the door. A tall, bearded bushman stood there with a coiled stockwhip in his hand and a rifle slung across his shoulder. Three others stood on the verandah behind him - all of them soaked to the skin. Ned touched the brim of his hat and said simply, 'My men are in rags and must be fed.'

Mary knew immediately that they were the Kelly Gang; their call at Coulson's Store the previous Monday had caused a sensation in the tiny railway town. Heart pounding, she ushered them inside. Dan, Steve and Joe filed past her without a word but Ned stayed on the verandah.

'What of you?' she asked.

'I'll keep watch.'

Mary sat the three lads in the dining room, rekindled the fire, then woke a young Irish maid and told her the Kelly Gang was here. The girl was terrified and started to cry. Mary told her, 'Get a bucket of potatoes and get them peeled.'

'I'll not do it,' the girl sobbed.

'You'll do it, or where will you go!'

'Shivering and crying', the child set to work and eventually, Mary gave the three young men their plates of stew and took one out to Ned on the verandah. He thanked her and apologised that he couldn't pay for the meals. Mary was happy to see it as an act of charity, even happier to see the three finish their stew and trail out to join Ned. They retrieved their horses from the hotel's accommodation paddock and rode off.

'Of all the sorrowful sights I saw, it was those poor men,' Mary recalled. She remembered Ned as 'a gentleman, nicely spoken, not bold'. Not wishing to worry her husband, she didn't mention the incident to him when he returned. 'One wild night', weeks later, there was a rap at the door and Henry investigated. He returned, mystified, with 8 shillings for Mary from a tall, bearded bushman. As the man turned to leave, a gust of wind had caught his coat, revealing a revolver in his belt.

Mary laughed. 'It's Ned Kelly, Dad.'

'Damn Ned Kelly!' Henry exploded. 'What's he doing here?' Two more people were left to wonder at the ways of these most unusual bushrangers.
I think this is what Ian Jones does so well, he gives Ned and the others a human face and helps you understand that whatever else they were, they were young men on the run, hungry and cold and probably scared too.

~Gem~
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Old November 9th, 2007, 07:02 AM
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Oh that is something. I do like these stories of who they were. Thanks Gem
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Old November 13th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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Just had to share this... Ian Jones talks about the 'propaganda war' Ned and Joe waged against the police, especially after Jerilderie, by tellling their story in ballads and poems (some examples here).

Quote:
Schoolteacher James Wallace, a schoolmate of Joe and Aaron and another double agent, wrote a satirical serial, 'Christmas in Kelly Land' for a local paper. Sympathiser editor G. Wilson Hall serialised The Book of Keli in the Benalla Standard (later published in pamphlet form), an often hilarious account of the police pursuit told in mock-Biblical language, in which 'Captain Dishstand' with his 'chief officers, named Nickelsilver and Harus' led the bumbling 'hosts of King Georgius' from disaster to disaster against 'the men of Keli'.
~Gem~
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Old November 13th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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It is amazing how they managed to get their views across, stuck up in the middle of nowhere they still had a voice.

Thanks Gem for this and the link..
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Old November 15th, 2007, 05:13 AM
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Sounds like quite an impressive book Gem. Thanks for sharing snippets of it.
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 09:00 AM
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I meant to post here after I finished reading the book but I guess I have been a bit distracted. Just wanted to say again that this book is definitely worth getting. Whether you're not familiar with the Kelly story and want to make sure that you get the facts without heavy bias one way or the other, or you've already read stacks of books but want to 'consolidate' your understanding of what happened in the Kelly country all those years ago, this book is definitely a worthwhile purchase!

~Gem~
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Old July 11th, 2008, 09:19 PM
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Exclamation

Question about Ian Jones book!

On page 113 it talkes about Ned being in Jerilderie in Feb of 1879. He makes the comment....

Quote:
When outlawed I was only three weeks married.
(bold my own)

Well I have completely missed this detail.

Was Ned married?

If I am rehashing something old please just point me to the info and I will shutup.

Please advise Kelly gurus.

Hugs,
Snoey
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Old July 12th, 2008, 12:58 AM
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Hmmm, interesting....ladies?
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  #11  
Old July 12th, 2008, 03:55 AM
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Did someone call?

This question comes up every now and then, Snoey. After the holdup in Jerilderie, just before the Gang left the town, Ned gave a 'farewell' speech at The Royal Mail. Apparently he spoke quietly and there was a rowdy drunk in the pub who made it hard to hear what was said, according to Tarleton, the bank manager. So there were lots of different accounts afterwards, according to what people thought he had said, and the marriage thing was one of them. Certainly there is no evidence, nor is it mentioned in any other connection, so no, I don't think it's true.

By all accounts, Ned did not have many ladies in his life (unlike Joe), but his cousin Kate Lloyd seems to have been his sweetheart. She was there at his trial and visited him for the last time at the Gaol the day before his execution.

~Gem~
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:11 AM
snoewhite snoewhite is offline
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Thanks Gem,
I knew one of you would know the answer. I almost fell out of my chair when I read that!

I am finding so many things in this book that just peaks my curiosity even more. Of course I'm driving everybody crazy by carrying the book in my purse and reading it when I get a minute here and there.

Of course the first question most ask is 'Who is Ned Kelly?' Which of course sets me off on a disertation about NK and the gang. Then most people have to ask why I'm interested in an Australian folk hero. Well then that is a whole new story. By this time their eyes have glazed over and I've lost them.

To each their own I guess. I just find it so engrossing. But there you go. I still would love to go on a Kelly tour. But I'm gonna have to save lotttttsss of pennies for that!

Hugs and thanks for indulging me,
Snoey
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:26 AM
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No worries Snoey, always happy to spread the knowledge!

I find the more I read about Ned and the Gang, the more I want to know - just took delivery of two more books on the subject...

If ever you do make your way Downunder, start your Kelly tour at The State Library of Victoria in Melbourne; they have regular free tours of their Kelly exhibit (including Ned's armour and the original Jerilderie Letter among other things), and the guide is very passionate about the subject...

~Gem~
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:38 AM
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Gee her name wouldn't be Gem would it? Cause that was who I was going to call......

Just let me know if I get on your nerves with all the questions.

Speaking of which, is a "billy" a kettle?

Snoey - trying to learn the vernacular.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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Snoey, a billy is a cylindrical tin (aka kettle!) with a wire handle that hangs above a campfire to boil water for tea. Also used to warm baked beans or warm soup etc - but yeah, billy tea is really something special I always find - that and a great hunk of damper fresh out of the coals smothered in butter and/or golden syrup - ooh, I'm salivating as I type. Traditional aussie bush tucker (if you're not indigenous of course). In the old days, they'd wait for the billy to boil and then chuck in a handful of tea leaves, whereas modern campers now tend to pop the old teabag in their mug and pour in the boiling water from the billy.

And yeah, the guide is a woman that is a fountain of knowledge that is "Kelly" related and damn good too, can't wait to see her in action myself!

Keep asking the questions, we're all learning and there are a couple of lasses in particular that like nothing better than to discuss their favourite topic until the cows come home - you won't be bothering them at ALL!

cheers
Luna
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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Thanks! About the "billy" of course we call it a coffee pot. I kinda thought that was what it was but I wanted to ask for sure. I know how you Kiwi's, Aussies, English and Irish love your tea. Of course, if I ask for tea in a restaurant here all they'll say is do you want sweet or unsweet and I'll get a huge glass of iced tea. Of course if you ask for unsweet you get a weird look too.
If you want hot tea you have to ask for "hot tea." I love a good cuppa myself but it gets pretty difficult finding a good Earl Grey or English Breakfast here in Alabama. I used to buy it from a little shop that sold only imported British items such as crunchie candy bars (my personal fav), whispas and of course I could get good tea! But they closed.

My mother thinks I was switched at the birth because I am not your typical Southern Alabama girl.

Snoey - always the oddball.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 04:59 AM
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*points up* What she said - we loves questions, preciouss...

And not quite on topic but not exactly off either - I'm going to Beechworth for the Kelly weekend! Have tickets booked to hear Brad talk and see the performance of Ashley Davies with Ian Jones!

~Gem~
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Old July 12th, 2008, 05:03 AM
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Coolness! You'll have to bring all the news back and share!

What all goes on at a Kelly weekend?

Snoe
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Old July 12th, 2008, 05:18 AM
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Not quite sure as this will be my first time but I can imagine Snoey...

In all seriousness, you can find the programme
here: http://www.beechworth.com/events_cal...Brochure08.pdf (sorry, tried direct linking but OL is being really weird with me today, keeps freezing and whatnot). Don't worry about the message that comes up, just scroll down onto the second page, that shows the events.

~Gem~
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Old July 12th, 2008, 05:37 AM
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damn stupid link won't load!!

Grrrrrr,
Snoe

Edit: I had to go on the Beechworth site and click over. Wow it looks really interesting. I think that the street stalls would have some interesting things. I would love to sit and talk with Brad and Ian!

Last edited by snoewhite; July 12th, 2008 at 05:41 AM.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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It's an AdobeReader so takes a while Snoey, and the first page doesn't seem to work. But if you just scroll down onto the second page, that's where the programme is.

I would love to talk with Brad and Ian too, will have to see if any opportunities present themselves...

~Gem~
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Old July 12th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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It's good to be an oddball! And if you want tea, try Boston...bay....ha ha.

Strange that it isn't more readily available, never occurred to me that it wouldn't be, but then, I've never been to the States (other than touching down a couple of times, once in Dallas and immediately checking the phone book - yes there IS a JR Ewing in Dallas, who'd have thought it, but I never left the airport.) Note to self, if ever in the US - ask for hot tea! Wonder if I can bring my own Dilmah teabags...or whether it will get confiscated as some kind of weird "grass" at the airport (or dope or whatever you call it).

I know American's love their coffee - and Canadians. Here, both are extremely popular - but we're so multi-cultural now you can get just about anything, which is wonderful.

Revel in the oddballness - I applaude that!

cheers
Luna
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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Stormdancer View Post
It's good to be an oddball! Wonder if I can bring my own Dilmah teabags...or whether it will get confiscated as some kind of weird "grass" at the airport (or dope or whatever you call it).
Revel in the oddballness - I applaude that!
Dilmah tea? What's that? You only have to ask for "hot tea" in the South. We are iced tea drinkers here. lol!

Of course here you can also get fried pig brains and poke salat too.(I would not dare eat that but my parents would.) *barf* We even have a Polk Salat festival and a Cornbread festival too.

I just love the little odd things that I'm learning such as

Quote:
Bail up
What does that mean??? Ned says it a lot. And what is the deal about wearing the hat strap under their nose? Am I the only one that thought that was strange?

Snoe
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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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Dilmah tea is a blend of tea from Sri Lanka (I think) - just my favourite black tea - there are many varieties but that is by FAR my favourite. I always carry it on me, just in case I get offer *shudder* Bushels blend or Liptons. Just different varieties, of the China black tea, is all.

Not sure about the pigs brains (euww - I've tried Lamb's brains, which, despite the look etc. is really really really delicious - of course, I tried it without being told what it was, and nearly died of pleasure, but can't actually eat it now, knowing as I do...) but don't know what Polk Salat is...not the faintest. DO know cornbread though, so that's something.

Bail up means, basically, stop what you're doing and put your hands up. This is a stick up kind of thing.

Am not sure about the nose strap, I know the anzacs used to do it, and I think the army boys still do when on display, and possibly the English Guards...but don't actually know why - but I could be completely wrong.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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'Bail up' just means put up your hands and surrender, basically. And wearing the hat strap under one's nose was a particular 'quirk' of the Greta mob, a group of larrikins - what we might call unruly youths today - active around where Ned lived. Apparently they also wore bright-coloured sashes around their waists. The hat strap under the nose became the mark of a Kelly sympathiser.

~Gem~
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