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Old June 20th, 2007, 02:17 AM
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'The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang and Their Pursuers' by J.J. Kenneally

Well, I'm still expanding my collection of Kelly books, and have just started reading this one, after my curiosity was aroused by the 'blurb' on Ironoutlaw.:

Quote:
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 ó 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 Nedís brother Jim Kelly, and James Ryan.
Here's the Melbourne Herald's Review (14 March 1929), quoted at the beginning of the book:

Quote:
It is Mr. Kenneally's claim that no unpartisan history of the Kelly episode has hitherto been published. In his opinion the Kellys were badly treated and their bushranging crimes were the result of unjust persecution on the part of the police. Reading his book, it must be admitted that the makes out a strong case. Most of his evidence is drawn from official sources - police evidence - showing the conduct of the constables and their immediate superiors in a very poor light.

His facts are ably presented, and the book is well illustrated with portraits of the chief actors and scenes from the surrounding country.
The copy I have is the 8th edition from November 1969 (the 1st edition was published 1st of March, 1929), and on the inside cover it has the inscription 'Presented to G.L. Galloway by the Kenneally family 28-4-78'.

I have only just started reading the book but it's pretty obvious that it's going to be more on the side of the Gang than the police. In his introduction Mr. Kenneally states that he got his information from members of the Kelly family and relatives of people concerned, with Ned's cousin Tom Lloyd being his main source.

There's a copy of a letter the author had received from a gentleman who had met Mr. J. Ingram, who had a bookshop in Beechworth during the Kelly days. Mr. Ingram is quoted as follows:

"I was well acquainted with Ned Kelly long before he took to the bush. He was, in his usual manner, of a quiet unassuming disposition - a polite and gentlemanly man. I would not have been at all afraid to have met Ned Kelly in the bush anywhere." And also: "Joe Byrne, when he was a lad frequently came into my shop. He was a very nice little fellow; he was well behaved and there was never anything in his deportment that anyone could take exception to."

There's a map of the Kelly Country and several (black & white) photographs and sketches.

I will post anything worthwhile I come across while reading further.

~Gem~
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Old June 20th, 2007, 08:33 AM
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ah, good Gem- another of THOSE books it feels important to read, part of the history itself. The bits you quoted sound fascinating, and Tom Lloyd as his major sourse, well that will be something then! I love those things where the views of 'ordinary people' are sought- little quirks and rememberances and real history. Thanks I look forward to more.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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Gem this is one of the books that I have been hoping to find in my travels in second hand bookshops. It sounds fascinating and I am looking forward to hearing some of the more personal stories that you mentioned.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 09:26 AM
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Well, this book is only two hundred pages but I've only made it halfway... I don't know, it's not very easy to read, it seems to jump around a lot and if you don't have a good grasp of the facts already, you're bound to get confused. Also I have a slight problem with the way Kenneally quotes whole conversations between the Gang - it's all very well to imagine what they could have said but to present it like this, as fact?

As I mentioned earlier, Kenneally is very much a Kelly sympathiser and as much as I like to call myself one too, he is starting to get on my nerves a bit... I will read it through to the end though, I'm nothing if not persistent!

There are interesting bits from the Royal Commission of 1881, 'direct from the horse's mouth' as it were, questions asked of and answered by the policemen involved.

This bit I actually liked, as I always thought Jerilderie was an aboriginal name:

Quote:
The name of Jerilderie originated in quite a novel way. Mr. Gerald Wilson and his wife settled on the present site of the town, and the latter always referred to her loving husband as Jeril Dearie. She called her husband by no other name, so that the carriers and others gave their home the name of Jerildearies. When asked how far they were going to-day the invariable reply was, when going in that direction, "We'll go as far as Jerildearies." When the town sprang up it was called Jerilderie, a slight contraction of Jerildearie.
So will report back on anything remotely interesting in the second half, as soon as I manage to wade through it...

~Gem~
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 10:28 AM
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I had presumed the same Gem so that is a really interesting bit of history..

Keep wading it is your duty to us..
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Old August 17th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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Well, I have finally finished reading this book. I think I would probably only recommend it to the most ardent Kelly sympathiser, and mainly for the information it provides on the Royal Commission of 1881. It will certainly complement my ever-growing collection of Kelly books but I'm glad I'm now free to move on to a couple more interesting Kelly books that are awaiting my attention...

Anyway, a couple of things that might be of interest to you Kelly-philes out there:

From the Commissioners on Supt. Hare's conduct at Glenrowan:

Quote:
Comparisons may be odious, but it cannot fail to strike one as singular that, while Supt. Hare felt himself obliged to leave his post and return to Benalla, under the impression that the wound in his wrist would prove fatal, the leader of the outlaws, with a bullet wound lodged in his foot and otherwise wounded in the extremities, was enabled to hold his ground, encumbered, too, by iron armour, until seven o'clock, when, in the effort to rejoin his companions, he fell overpowered by numbers.
There's also a break-down of the distribution of the 8000 pounds in reward money for the capture of the Kelly Gang, of which Supt Hare received the biggest share, 800 pounds... And the four constables hiding under the bed at Sherritt's when Joe Byrne shot Aaron, each received 42 pounds...

At the end of the book there's a 'review' by Ned's brother Jim, from December 1930; here are some excerpts:

Quote:
Dear Mr. Kenneally.-I have read your book, "The Complete Inner History of the Kelly Gang and Their Pursuers", with a great deal of satisfaction, and I must congratulate you on having rendered a great service in the cause of TRUTH AND JUSTICE.
...
You are the only author who has the courage to do justice to the Kelly Gang; you have liberated the truth, so long suppressed, regarding the policy and administration of the police; through your book the people of Australia are now in full possession of the truth. You must have gone to no end of trouble, and displayed great patience, judgment, and tact in collecting inside official police and judicial documents and information, in order to let the world at large see for themselves how the various members of my family had been hounded down by the heads, as well as by the rank and file, of the police force. Some members of the Judiciary, too, were so strongly prejudiced against the Kellys that the law was, not infrequently, strangled and violated in order to give vent to Judicial bias.
...
My brother Ned holds a very unique position among the great men of the world. Great men are proclaimed great almost exclusively by their friends, supporters, sympathisers, and admirers; but you have proved that my brother, Ned Kelly, was proclaimed the greatest man in the world by his bitterest enemy.

I am proud of my brothers, Ned and Dan, and now that your book is fast displacing the various dishonest publications, the overwhelming majority of Australians are ardent admirers of Ned's unsurpassed couraged, manly manhood, and high moral character.
...
"The Girl Who Helped Ned Kelly." This book is another example of mercenary journalism. My brother Ned was so devoted to his mother that he had no "girl". Of course, the author of the book above referred to protected himself by calling his concoction "a novel."
...
As an effective exterminator of the hive of journalistic wasps, your book would have been a great consolation to my dear mother if it had been published before her death. I regret that my mother is not alive to see her family so completely vindicated by your book.

Wishing that your book will be found in every home in Australia.

I am,
Yours sincerely,
(Signed) JAMES KELLY
And here's an excerpt from a letter to Mr. Kenneally from James Ryan, a Kelly cousin (bolding mine):

Quote:
Apart from the police and the low foul-mouthed Aaron Sherritt, the Kellys offered violence to no man and insult to no woman. It was because of a foul-mouthed threat made to Joe Byrne's mother that the latter shot Aaron Sherritt, and not because he was a police spy. How very differently did the police act at the siege of Glenrowan when men, women and children were the victims of savage brutality byt the police.
~Gem~
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Old August 17th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Thanks for that Gem. I was particularly interested to read James Kelly's account of the book etc
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Old August 20th, 2007, 04:35 AM
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Thanks for that Gem. It was interesting to read the bits from James Ryan and Ned's brother.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Apart from the police and the low foul-mouthed Aaron Sherritt, the Kellys offered violence to no man and insult to no woman. It was because of a foul-mouthed threat made to Joe Byrne's mother that the latter shot Aaron Sherritt, and not because he was a police spy. How very differently did the police act at the siege of Glenrowan when men, women and children were the victims of savage brutality byt the police.
interesting huh?...
Having seen the book when you were in London I am not surprised that it took a while, the script looked very dense. As you say though, good to have and certainly an important part of 'Kelly history', thanks for your thoughts- the reviews at the end fascinating too.
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