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FICTION TITLES

… I spilled it I said tho I did not remember having done so I were surprised that I must be back at Avenel Common School. You put that sash on she said do you hear me. It were 7 ft. long & fringed with gold I had nothing to be ashamed of Mother and me walked side by side along the catwalk I looked down to the ground floor where there were much smoke and destruction many policemen was lying dead.

Peter Carey
True
History of the Kelly Gang 

The story of Ned Kelly features in a myriad of biographies, non-fiction books, and fictional novels. Many fictitious narratives – such as Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang and Robert Drewe’s Our Sunshine – follow a historically accurate interpretation with additional ‘thrills and excitement’ by virtue of relationships, offspring, or encounters. Also included in our list are novels that diverge significantly from the original prosopography – most titles bear little or no association to historical fact – but all catechise Ned Kelly’s legendary folklore.

The Book Of Keli: The Chronicles of the Kelly Pursuers

Author: George Wilson Hall
Publisher: Walker, May and Co.
Format: Pamphlet
Extent: 28 pages

Comments: Graham Jones, Judy Bassett
Illustrator: Graham Jones
Publisher: Charquin Hill
ISBN: 0959570950
Republished: 1985
Format: Paperback
Extent: 94 pages

Originally titled The Kelly Gang or The Outlaws of the Wombat Ranges, the twenty-eight page pamphlet was published in 1879 by G.W. Hall, proprietor of the Mansfield Guardian newspaper. In the winter of 1879, Hall purchased the Benalla Standard and serialised the booklet during August and September. The story of the pursuit of the Kelly Gang takes the form of stylised fiction, told in an almost legend-like or biblical [King James Bible] manner.

Information: NLA.gov.au

Ned Kelly: The Ironclad Australian Bushranger

Author: James Borlase
Publisher: Alex M’Kinley & Co. Printers
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 456 pages

A compilation of the thirty-eight part weekly penny dreadful series originally published in 1881 by Alfred J Isaacs and Sons of London. Noted Australian banker and historian H.G. Turner described the series as ‘a gory compilation of melodramatic impossibilities’ which aligned perfectly with the penny blood ethos of presenting dramatic tales and outlandish storylines concerning pirates, adventurers, and villains to a working class public hungry for cheap, long lasting and value for money entertainment.

Read: Ned Kelly: The Ironclad Australian Bushranger

Ned Kelly and his Bushmen

A story of Robber Life in Australia

Publisher: New York Detective Library
Format: Hardcover

A well loved detective from the United States insinuates himself into the Kelly Gang [whose members number up to thirty men] while they are holed up in a ‘hidden valley’ hideout. He becomes a close confidant of Ned’s and convinces him to go to Glenrowan where a trap has been set to capture the Gang.

The cover illustration shows an armoured Ned Kelly mounted on his steed reminiscent of a knight of old – it only lacks the plume!

Brian McDonald What they said about Ned

The Girl Who Helped Ned Kelly

Author: Charles Taylor
Publisher: United Press
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 246 pages

Publisher: ETT Imprint
ISBN: 9781925706925
Republished: 2019
Format: Paperback
Extent: 262 pages

… But accuracy is not what makes this book important and nor, realistically, is narrative. What makes it worthy of discussion is the fact that it represents a blithe fictionalisation of the Kelly story written at a time when the events were still very much within living memory. And despite Jim Kelly publicly stating his disgust towards the book, it would be far from the last. From ‘Our Sunshine’ to ‘True History of the Kelly Gang’; the literary class might have evolved, but the fundamental ethos certainly hasn’t. This story is our defining cultural myth, so writers and artists will always be drawn to create their own versions.

Gabriel Bergmoser

Information: GoodReads.com

The Greyfriars Holiday Annual for Boys and Girls

Publisher: The Amalgamated Press
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 280 pages

Story: The Iron Bushrangers by ‘Sharp Shooter’ [7 pages]

Originally titled The Holiday Annual when first published in 1919, this became possibly the best-loved of all of the dozens of Amalgamated Press annuals published during the two decades leading up to World War Two. It included stories on all three Hamilton schools, namely Greyfriars, St Jim’s, and Rookwood.

Information: GreyfriarsIndex.co.uk

The Kelly: Australia's Famous Bushrangers

Author: Henry Neary
Publisher: C. Merritt
Format: Softcover
Extent: 40 pages

A short history based on the author’s personal experience of the times and gleanings from Charles White’s early writings. The publication comes illustrated with a number of line drawings.

An interesting little book, several mistakes, but worth tracking a copy down to read.

Brian McDonald What they said about Ned

Bushrangers: Men with a price on their heads

Ned Kelly and his Gang

One of the strangest stories in the history of crime under any sky.

Author: W.H. Fitchett
Publisher: The Fitchett Brothers
Format: Softcover
Extent: 96 pages

Bony and the Kelly Gang

Tucked away in the mountains of New South Wales is Cork Valley, inhabited by an odd lot of hard-drinking Irishmen. Here a government officer, looking for illicit ‘stills’, has been murdered, and it’s Napoleon Bonaparte’s job to find the killer. Disguised as a horse-thief the famous half-aboriginal detective hitchhikes into the valley. But before Bony can spring the trap he develops a strong affection for these lawless, lusty characters…

Author: Arthur Upfield
Publisher: Heinemann
ISBN: 9780020258803
Format: Softcover
Extent: 192 pages

Listen: Bony and the Kelly Gang
Information: GoodReads.com

Ned Kelly: The Armoured Outlaw

Author: Geoffrey Bond
Publisher: Arco Publications
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 192 pages

A popular and highly fictionalised account of the last of Australia’s bushrangers.

Ned Kelly and the days of the Bushrangers

The sound of galloping hooves and pistol shots echoes strongly from Australia’s past in the most dramatic bushranger book yet published … Full story of the Kelly Gang – Dan Morgan – Captain Moonlight – Ben Hall – Thunderbolt and all the rest of the famous bushrangers. 50 pictures.

Artist: Stanley Pitt
Publisher: Southdown Press
Format: Softcover
Extent: 52 pages

View: Ned Kelly and the days of the Bushranger [advertisement]

Kelly

Highwayman, horse-thief, bank-robber, killer … so reads the official record against the name of Ned Kelly. But he was something more than that. The highest compliment you can pay an Australian is to say he is as game as Ned Kelly, and the name carries respect for most Australians who value their freedom. It was Kelly who took the banks and conducted a long and effective war against the squatters who invaded their land and the police who chose to support them. Dressed in armour hammed out of ploughshares, Kelly and his gang made their last stand against the law at Glenrowan in Victoria, and although wounded and ill-treated by his captors he survived to be tried and hanged at the age of 26. Minutes after his death the admiration of the ordinary Australian for the name of Kelly grew fast into a symbol of the Aussie who is not to be put upon. It is not altogether in jest that he is called Australia’s patron saint. In dealing with a subject that has preoccupied him for many years, Eric Lambert has wed fiction and fact and given shape to a myth that is exciting a story as the author of Twenty Thousand Thieves has yet written.

Author: Eric Lambert
Publisher: Corgi Books
Format: Softcover
Extent: 285 pages

Lambert took the basic facts, mixed them with romantic notations and tall tales to produce one of the first deliberate fiction novels on the Kelly Gang. As the author says in his foreword ‘… and though there is a broad element of fiction in my story I think I am nearer the truth than the ‘facts’. This, then, is the life story of Ned Kelly, than whom no man was gamer.’

Information: Wikipedia.org

The Eagle Book of Amazing Stories

Author: Fortunino Matania
Publisher: IPC Magazines
ISBN: 9780850371024
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 96 pages

Story: Ned Kelly – The Armoured Bushranger [5 pages]

A digression from the main Eagle annuals, The Eagle Book of Amazing Stories takes the form of text based narratives with supporting pictures. The stories are from all around the world. Australia’s contribution is Ned Kelly – The Armoured Bushranger [pages 27-31]. This tall tale is well told and beautifully illustrated.

Information: EagleAnnual.info

Bob Morane: Le revenant des Terres Rouges

Bob Morane: The ghost of the Red Lands

Bonnes gens des terres rouges, barricadez-vous quand le revenant passe. Ned Kelly est sorti de sa tombe. Il sème la terreur. Il tue. Il est la mort. Mais bonnes gens des terres rouges, Bob Morane, lui, est bien vivant. Pour vous sauver de la peur.

Author: Henri Vernes
Publisher: Pocket Marabout
EAN: 9782874180545
Format: Softcover
Extent: 158 pages
Language: French

Translation: Good people of the Red Lands, barricade yourself when the ghost passes by. Ned Kelly emerged from his grave. He sows terror. He kills. He is death. But good people of the red lands, Bob Morane is alive and well. To save you from fear.

View: Alternative Cover
Information: ObjectifPlumes.be

The Victor Book for Boys 1979

Publisher: D.C. Thomson & Co.
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 128 pages

Story: The Outlaw Wore Armour [8 pages]

The book contains an eight page comic story about Ned Kelly and features a fanciful narrative where the final shoot-out takes place outside a large two storey building referred to as The Glenrowan Inn!

View: The Outlaw Wore Armour [sample]
Information: Wikipedia.org

Ned Kelly and the City of Bees

Ned Kelly would never have imagined shrinking his size in order to escape the dreary hospital bed where he’s recovering from appendicitis. But, that’s exactly what Apis, his new friend (who happens to be a bee), helps him do with the aid of a special gold liquid. At apian size, Ned flies off with Apis and Nancy Clancy (who speaks only in rhyme) to try life in the hive. Although he questions some of their practices, like disposing of old drones who can’t work anymore, Ned soon makes friends with the bees, including Romeo, a drone lovesick for the Queen, Basil, a drone-rights activist, and even the haughty Queen herself.

Author: Thomas Keneally
Publisher: Open Road Distribution
ISBN: 781504038683
Format: Softcover

Information: GoodReads.com

Sister Kate

Kate Kelly grew up in a house of women: when the Kelly men were not in jail, they were outlaws. Kate’s loyalty to her family becomes a bitter obsession. Inevitably, the police take brutal revenge on the Kelly Gang at Glenrowan. Kate must watch as the scorched body of her lover is strung up for public display. Neither wandering nor marriage, time nor drink, can blot out this gruesome climax of her young life. Until the ashes of their heroism turns her mind to darkness.

Author: Jean Bedford
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780140064964
Format: Softcover
Extent: 160 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Kelly Country

There was a Ned Kelly. He lived and breathed and fought for what he believed to be right – according to the historians. According to others he was no more than a bushranger, a vicious criminal who paid the just penalty for his crimes on the gallows. Charismatic, with the makings of a military genius, his wild dream of a Republic was brought to nothing at Glenrowan. But suppose, just suppose that the special train had been derailed as planned… What would have been the consequences for Australia – and the world?

Author: A. Bertram Chandler
Publisher: Orion
ISBN: 9781473215139
Format: Softcover
Extent: 352 pages

Compared to the other fiction titles listed here, Kelly Country is the most unconventional. In the same vein as a Harry Turtledove alternative history novel, Chandler’s story presents an intriguing what-if with some horrifying scenarios. What if Ned Kelly escaped police capture and led a successful Irish-Australian rebellion against British authority. The books synopsis centres around a mentalist time traveller who organises Kelly’s escape. When he reawakens the modern world has changed. A now nuclear-capable Australia, rather than the United States, is embroiled in the Vietnam War. All because Thomas Curnow was prevented from stopping the police special train on route to Benalla. The hapless school teacher ended up with his brains bashed in, while the train was destroyed in a derailment. The rest, is history.

… Kelly is such a folk legend, it’s a bonus that he actually existed. His story inspired the world’s first feature film in 1906 [a mere 26 years after his death], kickstarting the Australian film industry, in which bushrangers were as cool as the gunslingers of Hollywood westerns. He has also been the star of folk songs, television, musical comedy and, my personal favourite, an alternate-world novel [by a Sydney-based science fiction master, the late A. Bertram Chandler] in which Ned survives, starts a revolution against his British rulers, and becomes the first President of Australia.

Mark Juddery

Information: GoodReads.com

The Girl Who Didn't Know Ned Kelly

Kit Grimshaw is the daughter of a bank manager in the gold-mining town of Beechworth. It is 1880 and the town is split in its attitudes towards the famous bushranger, Ned Kelly. Kit is torn between the views of her parents and those of her young friend, Dan.

Author: David Martin
Publisher: Hutchinson Publishing Group
ISBN: 0091570301
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 168 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Our Sunshine

Our Sunshine is the tale of a man whose story outgrew his life. Robert Drewe’s strikingly imaginative re-creation of the inner life of Ned Kelly, the National Hero and Devil Incarnate of the Antipodes, is written with a brilliant clarity and impressionistic economy. It carries the reader into a dreamworld of astonishing and violent revelation, an entrancing and frightening landscape of murder, sexuality, persecution, robbery, vanity, politics, and corruption.

Author: Robert Drewe
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9780143204763
Format: Softcover
Extent: 204 pages

Shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 1992, Our Sunshine served as the primary source of fiction for the 2003 film Ned Kelly which was directed by Gregor Jordan and starred Heath Ledger.

Information: Wikipedia.org

Kelly and Ned

Kelly Smith and Ned Kent have returned to college to finish their education after dropping out to make their own way in the world. After a bizarre meeting late one night in a traffic accident they develop friendship, and as part of a school project, discover a whole new meaning to the legend of Ned Kelly. During the school year, they search for answers. They meet some strange and disturbing characters, experience some hair-raising moments, and find themselves caught up in a web of mystery and terror as the legend of Australia’s most famous outlaw reaches out from the past to confront them.

Author: Graham Jones
Publisher: Charquin Hill Publishing
ISBN: 0646343726
Format: Softcover
Extent: 264 pages

The Last Continent

Who is this hero striding across the red desert? Sheep shearer, beer drinker, bush ranger, and someone who’ll even eat a Meat Pie Floater when he’s sober. A man in a hat whose luggage follows him on little legs. Yes, it’s Rincewind, the inept wizard who can’t even spell wizard. He’s the only hero left. Still … no worries, eh?

Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: Doubleday
ISBN: 9780552154185
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 416 pages

The Last Continent is a fantasy novel that mocks aspects of time travel such as the grandfather paradox, and parodies Australian culture such as Crocodile Dundee, XXXX beer, Mad Max, Vegemite, and Ned Kelly. In one instance, the protagonist Rincewind is attempting to escape a prison cell. He finds a hidden message on the ceiling left by a previous escapee named Tinhead Ned, a reference to Ned Kelly, telling him, ‘G’day mait, check the hinges.’ Rincewind discovers that he is able to lift the door off its hinges and escape.

Information: GoodReads.com

Ned Kelly's Helmet

The normally peaceful village of Milltown is in the grip of a bushranger epidemic, and no business is safe. Hordes of masked bandits roam the streets on horseback, menacing the public with their weapons. Luckily the bushrangers are students, the horses are pushies, and the weapons are water pistols. And, since it’s just another of Ms Bracker’s mad history projects, there’ll be no harm done – or so she thinks! But when the McGoogly Gang, with the aid of some ancient technology, go after the ultimate bushranger icon for their project, the whole game is turned on its head, the cry of Bail Up! is punctuated with real gunfire, and bushranger month becomes deadly serious. Saddle your steeds, the game is afoot.

Author: Paul Stafford
Publisher: New Holland
ISBN: 9781742578651
Format: Paperback
Extent: 184 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Ned the Nong and the Kelly Kids

Daisy-Belle, Elle and their little brother Bruce have always been Poor Little Nobodies. But now that they’ve managed to escape Matron Maxine’s Home for Wretched Waifs, they plan to become Rich and Famous. And everyone knows the best way to do that is to become a fully-fledged, meaner-than-mean bushranger. With the help of their newly found friend Ned the Nong, his almost-tame crocodile Buttercup, and Ned’s bestselling book The Idiot’s Guide to Bushranging, the Kelly Kids are bound to be stars in no time!

Author: Dianne Bates and Bill Condon
Publisher: Five Senses
ISBN: 9781741304640
Format: Paperback
Extent: 96 pages

 

True History of the Kelly Gang

As he flees the police, Ned Kelly scribbles his narrative in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose. To his pursuers he is a thief and a murderer. To his own people he’s a hero for opposing the English. Ned, who saw his first prison cell at 15, has become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over towns and defying authority. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist. There are no sentences like these in all Australian literature and yet they could only have grown from our soil.

Author: Peter Carey
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
ISBN: 0702231886
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 402 pages

Carey’s convoluted take on Ned Kelly has introduced a new generation to the tale and, while it is primarily fictional fantasy, has thrust the main character back into the world’s spot light. The novel has undergone numerous reprints, been converted into multiple languages [both in print and audio], and was the basis for the 2019 movie starring George MacKay.

Information: Wikipedia.org

Whistle Man

On a cold, clear Saturday in 1874, Ned Kelly rode into Beechworth. He breezed into my life and changed it forever. I was fifteen then, and finished with school. Wishing I could grow taller and heavier overnight and then sprout an instant beard. Ned was four years older, and already the tough bushman I wanted to be.

Author: Brian Ridden
Publisher: Lothian
ISBN: 9780734401465
Format: Paperback
Extent: 240 pages

Whistle Man is a story about a teenage boy called Garrett Clancy, swept up in the emotional tide that was the larger-than-life Ned Kelly. The book opens with the narrator witnessing the infamous fight between Ned and Wild Wright at Beechworth and, by the end of the novel, the lead character has travelled the length and breadth of Kelly Country following in the wake of the armoured outlaw.

Information: GoodReads.com

Black Snake: The Daring of Ned Kelly

Ned Kelly was a thief, a bank robber and a murderer. He was in trouble with the law from the age of 12. He stole hundreds of horses and cattle. He robbed two banks. He killed three men.Yet, when Ned was sentenced to death, thousands of people rallied to save his life. He stood up to the authorities and fought for what he believed in. He defended the rights of people who had no power. Was he a villain? Or a hero? What do you think?

Author: Carole Wilkinson
Publisher: Black Dog Books
ISBN: 187637215X
Format: Paperback
Extent: 144 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Burnt to a Cinder, Was I?

The escape and life of outlaw Dan Kelly, member of the notorious Ned Kelly Gang

This book tells the exciting story of how Dan Kelly escaped from the inferno at Glenrowan, survived the most horrifying burns, led an exciting life joining a horse thieving gang and nearly lost his life a second time when he rescued a family in the floods. He eluded capture, sometimes by the skin of his teeth, until the end of his life in 1948.

Author: Vince Allen, Carolyn Allen
Publisher: Artisans Attic
ISBN: 9780958120807
Format: Softcover
Extent: 202 pages

… I can’t rightly say what to call this book in a legal sense – probably a historical novel – given that much of the material was told to Vince Allen by Dan himself, and supplied by his cousin. The boys would lie under the veranda at Rosalie eavesdropping on Grandfather Allen and Dan, and writing it all down to tell the boys at school – about the real live bush ranger visiting his grandfather.

Carolyn Allen

Information: GoodReads.com

Ned Kelly: The Screenplay

The screenplay [based on Robert Drewe’s novel Our Sunshine] of the movie directed by Gregor Jordan. An Australian legend, Ned Kelly has captured our imaginations for over 100 years. Cast variously as a hero, villain, revolutionary, gentleman and murderous thug, he and his gang cut a trail through the outback with the police in hot pursuit. Ned was imprisoned at the age of 16 on a trumped up charge of horse stealing. On his release Ned vows to go ‘straight’. But the system is prejudiced against the first-generation Irish immigrants and after being wrongfully charged with attempted murder while trying to defend his sister, Ned goes on the run with his younger brother Dan and two friends Steve Hart and Joe Byrne. While a folk hero to the masses, to the establishment he’s the most wanted man in Australia. The final showdown at the Inn at Glenrowan will cement Ned’s status as the legendary revolutionary hero of the Australian underclass forever.

Author: John Michael McDonagh
Publisher: Currency Press
ISBN: 9780868197159
Format: Paperback
Extent: 96 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Ned Kelly: Gangster Hero of the Australian Outback

Ned Kelly, born into a large family of Irish settlers in Australia, grew up bad. Cool and defiant, he graduated from horse-stealing to cattle-thieving to ‘robbery under arms’. Then, at twenty-three, he shot three policeman dead. For the next two years, Ned was on the run – the most wanted criminal in the colony of Victoria, the man who would ‘rid Australia of its corrupt, violent police’. This is the story of Ned’s life and of how, despite being a known murderer, he became one of Australia’s greatest heroes.

Author: Charlie Boxer
Publisher: Short Books
ISBN: 9781904095613
Format: Paperback
Extent: 160 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

The Accidental Outlaw of Glenrowan

They’ll still tell you in the high country that all the gang did not die at Glenrowan. Why did the Kelly Gang make that last stand at Mrs Jones’ hotel, the stand that could only have one end? We would never know the answers if Steve Hart had not survived to tell his story.

Author: Bill Collett
Publisher: Midland Heritage Press
ISBN: 9780949873866
Format: Paperback
Extent: 256 pages

Game as Ned

Ned is a teenager with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Australian bushrangers. He is also autistic. Erin is a sixteen-year-old trouble-magnet trying to make a fresh start in a new town. Ned never speaks. Erin rarely stops – and when she stands up to a bully the consequences are catastrophic. Now Ned’s on the run, branded ‘disturbed and dangerous’ by police. to set things right, he’ll need to be as game as Ned Kelly…

Author: Tim Pegler
Publisher: HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780732285760
Format: Paperback
Extent: 224 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Far Beyond The Falls

Michael Delaney had answered his country’s call to arms. In June of 1916, like so many other young Australian men, Michael found himself fighting for King and country on a blood soaked battlefield somewhere in France. Little did he know of the events taking place in his home town of Wangaratta. A father’s death, a grandfather’s secret, and the outlaw Ned Kelly’s mysterious message from beyond the grave. A message that would ultimately send three young boys on a journey of discovery through the rugged bushland of north eastern Victoria, leaving a brother to carry an agonising guilt that would haunt him for the rest of his life. Far Beyond The Falls is a story about a simple country family who laughed, cried, and through love endured the pain of irreplaceable loss.

Author: A.D. Crichton
Publisher: Network Creative Services
ISBN: 9780980593907
Format: Paperback
Extent: 214 pages

The Ned Kelly Game

Australia’s most infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly, has been dead for more than 100 years since he was hanged in Old Melbourne Gaol. Now it seems he’s back from the dead – and he can’t stop killing! He starts with the four youths who stole his skull from the museum as part of a teenage prank. They’re grown men now, and one by one they’re picked off and ‘hanged by the neck until dead’, just as Kelly was. Felicity Simons, the one girl in on the teenage prank, is now a history lecturer at Australia’s oldest university. When warning messages from Kelly start to appear she embarks on a quest to grant his dying wish, hoping to put mad Ned’s spirit to rest. But has Ned Kelly really returned, or is there a real killer out there? As the police begin to hunt the killer, Felicity soon discovers she could be his next victim.

Author: Lea Scott
Publisher: Createspace
ISBN: 9781442145788
Format: Paperback
Extent: 308 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

The Hunt for Ned Kelly

North-east Victoria, 1879. Jamie Ross and his older sister Ellen are alone in the world after the death of their father. Determined to make their fortune, they head to Beechworth – and straight into the midst of the search for Ned Kelly, the most notorious bushranger of all time. Jamie is fascinated by Ned. Is he a hero wronged by the police, as some people say, or a cold-blooded murderer? A chance encounter will bring Jamie closer to the answer than he could ever imagine.

Author: Sophie Masson
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
ISBN: 9781741695649
Format: Paperback
Extent: 208 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Encounters with the Kellys

A Plea for Freedom from Dan and Ned Kelly

‘I first met Dan Kelly in a museum gift shop…’ So begins Delta Shannon’s journey of discovery with Dan and Ned Kelly. For five years after that first meeting with Dan, her life would be consumed by the Kellys, as she channelled their spirits. Together, they now work to share this message, as well as the truth about the Siege at Glenrowan, with the public. Dan and Ned Kelly speak here, to and through Shannon. They want people to know that their spirits are earthbound, that they are restless and angry, and that they no longer wish to be bound to this plane. Somewhat ironically, it is the iconization of their name and legacy (not to mention the merchandising of the Kelly name) that keep them from achieving peace, and they want it to stop. The people of Australia can release Dan and Ned and allow them to go beyond the higher realms and heal their souls. In Encounters with the Kellys, Shannon lets the men share their side of the story and shares how modern-day readers can help these two trapped souls find rest. Their message is clear: They are lost. They are in pain. They want to be free!

Author: Delta Shannon
Publisher: Balboa Press
ISBN: 9781452503400
Format: Paperback
Extent: 76 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Ned Kelly's Secret

Hugo and his father are travelling through Australia, on the trail of tales of the gold rush. But after they’re ambushed on the road by the notorious outlaw Harry Power, they decide to chase something wilder and far more exciting … the stories of the bushrangers. In Benalla, Hugo befriends a boy from the bush, a boy who’s brave, bold and will do anything for his clan. A boy with a dark and dangerous secret-15-year-old Ned Kelly!

Author: Sophie Masson
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
ISBN: 9781742830322
Format: Paperback
Extent: 192 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Armored

Armor up for a metal-pounding feast of action, adventure and amazing speculation by topnotch writers on a future warrior that might very well be just around the corner. Science fiction readers and gamers have long been fascinated by the idea of going to battle in suits of powered combat armor or at the interior controls of giant mechs. First, when the armor starts to take over, even the generals may be at its mercy–and under its control. Then solve the problem of armored rescue when irradiated vacuum stands between the frail flesh of the living and safety. And what happens when the marriage of soldier and armor becomes a bit too intimate—and that marriage goes sour! It’s an armor-plated clip of hard-hitting tales featuring exoskeleton adventure with fascinating takes on possible future armors ranging from the style of personal power suits seen in Starship Troopers and Halo to the servo-controlled bipedal beast-mech style encountered in Mechwarrior and Battletech.

Editor: John Joseph Adams
Publisher: Baen
ISBN: 9781451638172
Format: Paperback
Extent: 580 pages

Story: The Last Days of the Kelly Gang
Author: David D. Levine

… The rising sun traced the edges of the armour’s riveted plates, outlining its black manlike shape with a tracery of glowing orange. It stood over eight feet high. Each leg was big around as a tree trunk, and the torso bulked as large as a butt wine cask. Within that giant shell lay the pistons and rods that drove the legs and arms, great quantities of wool padding to insulate the operator from the heat and motion of the mechanisms, and of course the operator himself. Operator was the term Ike preferred, not wearer as Ned insisted — though Ike had carefully positioned the control levers so that the natural motions of the operator’s legs would cause the suit to walk, the suit’s occupant would also be required to constantly direct, adjust, and monitor its workings…

David D. Levine The Last Days of the Kelly Gang

Excerpt: DaviddLevine.com
Information: GoodReads.com

Undead Kelly

Melbourne, 1880. Something has gone very wrong. There are things appearing deep in the Australian outback – blighted things. The dead are rising, and stalking the lonely bush tracks. Officially, they do not exist, their attacks attributed to the work of natives or madmen. But one man knows they are real, and is determined to expose the truth. Ned Kelly. Dubbed ‘Undead Kelly’, Ned desires one thing – to expose those responsible for unleashing this plague and hold them to account. But Ned is imprisoned, facing trial for the murder of three policemen, and is sure to hang.

Author: Timothy Bowden
Publisher: Severed Press
ISBN: 9781925047264
Format: Paperback
Extent: 248 pages

This was a book I held little hope for when I first picked it off the shelf but, I’m glad to say, my first impression was wrong – this is a ripper of a yarn! Set in Melbourne 1880, something evil has appeared in the Australian outback – the dead have awoken. Ned Kelly has uncovered the grisly truth. Dubbed ‘Undead Kelly’ (which finally makes sense on the last page), Ned desires one thing – to expose those responsible for unleashing this plague and hold them to account. But Ned is imprisoned so his plan hinges on his one ally, an English ‘wastrel’ banished to the colonies by his embarrassed family. A cynical man, more at risk of being devoured by his own internal monsters than the undead. Can he find the courage to emulate Ned, rise above expectations and become the saviour of the colony? Because, and I quote, ‘somebody has to stop the rot…’

Information: GoodReads.com

The Iron Fists of Ned Kelly

Fight Card

The story of Australia’s ironclad outlaw, Ned Kelly, has been told countless times in film, book, and song. The shootout at Stringybark Creek and the infamous siege at Glenrowan are events which shaped the nation – but there is more to Ned’s story, including the character defining, bareknuckle, scrap with feared bar-room brawler, Isaiah ‘Wild’ Wright. Ned was only sixteen when he rode into the township of Greta on a horse loaned to him by Wright. Ned had no idea the horse was stolen, but he was still arrested, beaten, and sentenced to three years hard labor. Ned can’t get those years back, but he can make the horse thief pay for his deception. With honour and justice at stake, two of the hardest men of all time will come to scratch in a battle for the ages. A story of betrayal, revenge, and ultimately friendship, The Iron Fists of Ned Kelly is another rollicking tale from the author of King of the Outback.

Author: Jack Tunney
Publisher: Kindle Edition
ASIN: B00O85L9P8
Extent: 106 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Ned Kelly’s Son

Ned Kelly’s Son is a romantic historical adventure. You will fall in love with Orla O’Meara as she travels from her home in Ireland to the land where she comes to make her home. She will influence history by leaving her greatest gift – a son – and will challenge you to think beyond present records. With believable characters and a reliance on recorded history, the author implants a strong probability of something neglected or overlooked in previous records about Australia’s most notorious bushranger, Ned Kelly.

Author: Trevor Tucker
Publisher: Dream Write Publishing
ISBN: 1927510325
Format:
Softcover
Extent: 482 pages

A fanciful tale where history literally repeats itself thanks to a near-drowning and a subsequent rescue between the then pre-teen author and a man claiming to be Ned Kelly’s son. Just like ten year old Ned’s rescue in 1865 of a boy named Richard Shelton who was nearly swept away in Avenel’s flooded Hughes Creek.

Information: GoodReads.com

Dead Kelly

The Afterblight Chronicles

Just before the Cull, Kelly McGuire and his gang staged a spectacular raid, to seize a load of gold bullion from an airplane on the runway, armed only with guts, guns, motorcycles and a bulldozer. But the deal went sour when one of Kelly’s mates tipped off the cops, and the gang was ambushed. McGuire barely got away with his life, running into the bush beyond Melbourne’s sprawling suburbs. Six months is a long time to hide out. Long enough for the world to end, for one thing. But now ‘Dead’ Kelly – as the press was calling him towards the end, when the police reported they’d found his body – is back, and he’s gunning for some payback. A chance discovery gives him the perfect get-up, courtesy of another outlaw Kelly, and he’s set to figure out which one of his mates done him over. If he has to kill every one of the bastards to get there.

Author: C.B. Harvey
Publisher: Rebellion Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781849976800
Format:
ePUB

Information: GoodReads.com

Saurian

Deep within the mound an eggshell cracked. The emerging creature, tiny and harmless as a household gecko grew into a massive and malevolent man-eater as natures blueprint fully unfolded. It ruled like a medieval monarch, the foreboding Kunnawitchetty its kingdom – last of the unexplored rivers where all others were subjugated, mating rights claimed, rivals killed and where people went missing.

Author: Rod Harrison
Publisher: Harrison
ISBN: 9780646938233
Format:
Softcover

‘Saurian’ is a mix of history, fact and fiction. The book’s title is in reference to a large saltwater alpha male crocodile who regularly makes a presence throughout the novel in some interesting ways … Beauregarde T. Glendon, a Confederate soldier making a break from South Carolina and arriving in Australia running from a charge of murder … With money in his pocket Beauregarde hits the road and meets up Australian bushranger, Frank Gardiner, camped on the site of the Eureka Stockade before running into Ned Kelly.
Ken Smith Fishing World

Information: FishingWorld.com.au

The Spirit of Ned

If in my writing of this book my words appear to be telling the life of Ned Kelly in a different way to other books, or if some may believe that some of what my pen has been guided to write, may not be the actual facts, then I cannot apologise. I can only say that how do we or anyone write anything with the knowledge that what they write are the actual happenings? Remembering that the supposed actual facts were first written by somebody, then in our minds it will always come back to what we believe or is believable. The Indigenous Australians have the ability to through their minds, pass on history and folklore from generation to generation. The human mind is a marvellous piece of machinery. I ask you to open your mind and take in these writings that I somehow have been guided to scribble out. I named this book as such, because each time I picked up a pen my arm was in fact directed what to write, and I found it almost impossible to stop.

Author: Bert O’Flannagan
Publisher: Great Escape Games
ISBN: 9780994282705
Format:
Softcover
Extent: 142 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

The Secret Son

An Australian historian determined to find the truth, two young men searching for identity, a stolen inheritance, a wishing tree, a long-lost grandmother and an unlikely sweetheart come together in an original and audacious novel. Set in Australia and Turkey, and spanning almost a hundred years, The Secret Son is a remarkable debut. At once joyous and haunting it is a moving meditation on love, honour and belonging. It is a story about the strength of women and what it means to be a good man.

Author: Jenny Ackland
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781925266160
Format:
Softcover
Extent: 336 pages

This is a book of numerous layers with a fundamental story that spans well over a century. While the ‘secret’ is divulged within the first few pages (don’t tell anyone but Ned had a son), the subsequent narrative is filled with an impressive tale that sees our main character Jim go from beekeeper at Beechworth to being lost in the trenches on the Gallipoli Peninsula. Fast forward seventy-five years and Jim’s Australian born great-grandson Cem, a self-absorbed twenty-something, is making a pilgrimage back to his father’s village in Turkey, unaware of his secret family background. Here he meets Berna, the grandmother he never knew, and Cem finally begins to understand what it’s like to be a responsible adult. This is a story full of many journeys and overall it is a very entertaining read. The only issue I have is Ahmet, Cem’s pitiless grandfather who lives an unrepentant life back in Australia plagued occasionally by bad dreams. He literally gets away with murder – one feels the reader would have been best served seeing Ahmet hit by a bus on the last page of the book.

Information: GoodReads.com

Dead Man's Hand: Down Under

Dead Man’s Hand: Down Under takes place a long way from the frontier of the old west. Although the geography has changed the things that drive men hasn’t. Great Escape Games final installment takes you ‘Down Under’ to the frontier towns of Australia where bushrangers battle with state police and legends like Ned Kelly are born. The land is as hard and unforgiving as the Old West and so are the people. So neck your glass of smokey rum, give your sheila a kiss, grab your gun and get in to the fight.

Things seem different here. They say God made Australia last, don’t you know, after he got tired of making everything else the same.

Author: Stuart McCorquodale, Mark Wheatley
Publisher: Great Escape Games
Format:
Softcover

Down Under is the source book for the board game Dead Man’s Hand and its expansion episode set in Australia. It includes twelve new scenarios, and rules for two new named characters, and three new groups: the Kelly Gang, state police and bushrangers. The book also comes with three sets of playing cards, one set for each of the new group.

Information: GreatEscapeGames.co.uk

Living like a Kelly

Greta, Victoria, 1911. A thunder-storm forces journalist Brian Cookson to seek shelter at a roadside cottage; he is taken in by three little girls and the old woman they call Gran. Cookson starts to explain that he has to write a story about Dan Kelly and Steve Hart of the Kelly Gang being alive and well in South Africa. The old woman spins round and glares.

“Lies, lies, lies!”
Cookson is dumbfounded.
“But how can you know?”
 “I am his mother.”
Will she ever trust a newspaper man with the truth about living like a Kelly?

Author: Dorothy Simmons
Publisher: Australian Scholarly Publishing
ISBN: 9781925333138
Format: Softcover
Extent: 196 pages

Simmons’s book Living Like a Kelly is set in the north east Victorian town of Greta. Sometime in 1911 a thunder-storm forces journalist Brian Cookson to seek shelter at a roadside cottage and so begins this convoluted tale interweaving fact and fiction which leaves the reader wondering at the end what was it all about? Apparently Ian Jones ‘helped Simmons research‘ this publication but I’m left to wonder, given Ian’s state of health at the time of publication, what he actually contributed? What I will say is that this book is worth a read but follow it up, or better still start, with Noelene Allen’s book Ellen: a woman of spirit so you can better understand what’s real and what isn’t.

Information: GoodReads.com

Ned Smelly: Outlaw Stuck in Iron Suit

Ned Smelly really wants to be a bushranger. So he gets Blind Patty the blacksmith to makehim a suit of iron. But the armour gets stuck and Ned gets hot and stinky. Now he is famous, but for all the wrong reasons.

‘When you’re stuck in one hundred pounds of steel armour,’ says Ned, ‘it’s hard to avoid things like dumb bullocks running you over, lightning bolts and the law. And why is that dingo laughing at me?’

Delirious from heat exhaustion and his own smell, Ned stumbles from one disaster to the next. Fate places a sick old man on his path leaving Ned with a sticky decision: does he rob or does he help the old man?

‘In a time of tall ships and blacksmiths,
In the middle of the Australian scrub,
There once lurked a group of misfits,
Who lived by the law of the gun.’

Author: Bruce Foot
Publisher: Planet Paz
ASIN: B01503LD98
Format: Kindle
Extent: 40 pages

Information: PlanetPaz.com.au

Ned Kelly Knight In Aussie Armour

After 136 years of silence – THE KELLY SECRETS

North Queensland journalist and author Eugenie Navarre has spent 10 years documenting stories that breathe new life into the belief that Kelly gang members, Steve Hart and Dan Kelly lived out their lives in southern Queensland after escaping Glenrowan, the site of Ned Kelly’s Last Stand. Her book, Ned – Knight in Aussie Armour is an intriguing collection of generational revelations from the insider sympathiser families, now spread across Australia, who played a significant role in the Kelly saga. In the book, Ned Kelly emerges in a surprising new light as a reformer, and member of the secret Irish agrarian organisation, the White boys. Ms Navarre’s evidence indicates the Glenrowan siege was an act of guerrilla warfare to declare the Republic of North East Victoria.

Author: Eugenie Navarre
Publisher: Eugenie Navarre
ISBN: N/A
Format: Hardcover
Extent: 140 pages

A confusing self-published collection of memoirs and ditties linked by unsubstantiated claims, factual errors, and tall tales of Dan Kelly and Steve Hart escaping to Queensland along with Ned Kelly getting involved in some romantic relationship that resulted in a baby [or something like that, I actually lost interest by that point].

A veil of silence fell over the Kelly story when the republic plot failed … Initially this pact was to protect fellow activists who would have been hanged for treason. It was likely a ploy to hide the real identity of the two charred bodies pulled from the Glenrowan inferno. As more sympathiser family descendants break tradition and speak out, evidence emerges that gang members, Dan Kelly and Steve Hart may have escaped and lived to old age, probably in Queensland … Harry had the physical features and characteristics similar to the real Steve Hart and about the same age … Steve was born in October 1959 to Irish immigrant parents. Harry was a small man probably about five feet, six inches with piercing blue eyes, hooked nose and a strong accent, likely Irish.

Eugenie Navarre

The Last Word Anthology

Past editions of The Last Word anthology jumped the gun in assuming that they were the last ones. Unequivocally, this is the absolutely final LAST word. The theme is NEXT as an attempt to look out to the future, away from the crumbling debris that is The Last Word foundations. This year’s edition has spared no expense with contributors from all reaches of Melbourne and beyond, for whom we are very grateful to share this with.

Publisher: Yarra Bend Press
ISBN: 9780987319234
Format: Softcover
Extent: 176 pages

Story: The Rise of Iron [8 pages]

The anthology features a section titled The Rise of Iron [pages 148 – 155] which introduces the back story of Ironclad, a fictional superhero who utilises the power of Ned Kelly’s armour to fight an ancient evil.

Information: ISSUU.com

Glenrowan

The Kelly Gang have been on the run for months and are the most wanted men in the British Empire. No expense has been spared in the hunt to bring them to justice. With the introduction of highly specialised trackers to hunt them and rumours of treachery amongst their supporters, the outlaws are desperate. Soon their leader, Ned Kelly, will hatch a plan that will not only bring an end to the pursuit, but will leave an indelible mark on the history of Australia. Glenrowan is the story of how one man’s burning obsession can have far reaching consequences, and how a tiny town between towns became as iconic as Gettsyburg or Waterloo.

The police are my natural enemies. They chose to bully and persecute those I care for. Now they’ll reap what they’ve sown.

Author: Aidan Phelan
Publisher: Australian Bushranging
ISBN: 9780646821702
Format: Softcover
Extent: 388 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Buckley the Yowie and the Legend of Ned Kelly

An accidental encounter with two young boys leads Buckley the Yowie on his greatest adventure yet. One of the boys, Edward Kelly, son of a former convict, influenced by the people and world around him, seems set on a path of crime and self destruction. Join Buckley as he becomes Ned’s friend and mentor, trying his best to steer him in the right direction. But what will Ned choose, the life of a farmer or that of a Bushranger, and an eventual fiery showdown at a small town called Glenrowan?

Author: Tony Squire
Publisher: Tony Squire
ISBN: 9798688446425
Format:
Softcover
Extent: 198 pages

Information: GoodReads.com

Lament

The name you know. The story you don’t… In June 1880, the reign of the Kelly Gang ended – guns blazing – in a fiery siege at the Glenrowan Inn. Ned Kelly survived, only to be hanged four months later. In this re-imagining of Australia’s most notorious bushranger, Ned is given the chance to keep his band of brothers together and build a better life. What unfolds is the human side of four outlaws who are remembered as much for their anarchy and rebellion as their crimes. Ned Kelly. The life that might have been. A historical tale of Australia’s most notorious outlaws with a slight twist. Nicole Kelly breathes life back into Ned Kelly and expertly explores the hopes and ideals of a young man on the wrong side of the law, and the life he might have lived if he had escaped his past.

Author: Nicole Kelly
Publisher: Hawkeye Publishing
ISBN: 9780648366126
Format:
Softcover
Extent: 246 pages

No-one can possibly know what was going on inside the helmet, but the author has had a bloody good crack at it. ‘Lament’ is a terrific read – made even more notable given that it’s Nicole Kelly’s first novel. And, for a tale that has been so well documented over the last 140 years, it has a twist you won’t see coming.

Greg Tobin

Information: GoodReads.com

Kate Kelly

The true story of Ned Kelly’s little sister 

Kate Kelly has always been overshadowed by her famous brother Ned, but the talented young woman was a popular public figure in her own right. This moving biography tells her astonishing story in full for the first time. Kate Kelly, the daring sister of legendary bushranger Ned Kelly, was mysteriously found dead in a lagoon outside the NSW town of Forbes in 1898. At the inquest, Kate’s husband Bricky Foster claimed that she was addicted to drink and frequently spoke of suicide. However, a neighbour testified that she had only known Kate to drink since the recent birth of her baby and that she never spoke of suicide. Was it suicide, accident or murder, and why had she changed her name to Ada? While only a teenager, Kate rode as a messenger and decoy for the Kelly Gang, and was present at the gruesome Glenrowan siege. After Ned’s execution, she appeared at public gatherings around Australia. Huge crowds came to see her talk and ride, and she helped to popularise the Ned Kelly story as a celebrity in her own right. Then she disappeared from the public eye. Rebecca Wilson is the first to uncover the full story of Kate Kelly’s tumultuous life. It will surprise anyone who thought they already knew the story of Australia’s most famous outlaw.

Author: Rebecca Wilson
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781760879679
Format: Softcover
Extent: 408 pages

Thoroughly recommended not only to those who have an interest in bushranging and the Kelly dynasty but anyone who enjoys a well-written and riveting yarn, based on fact.

Rob Willis OAM

Information: AllenAndUnwin.com

The Rise of Iron

Zac Ryan thought he was just another ponderous twenty-something university student until one night, while assisting at the State Library of Victoria, he decides to don the famous armour of Ned Kelly. Struck by a massive psychic blast he awakes dazed and confused to discover Australia’s most prized possession has vanished. Valued at over two hundred million dollars, Zac is accused of theft and is now on the run. Cornered at a train station he makes a break across the tracks and gets hit by a forty carriage freight train. The train derails but he escapes! Seems the armour wasn’t stolen. Instead it was assimilated into his DNA. At times of peril his newly awakened abilities allow Ned Kelly’s armour to manifest. Once formed it creates an impregnable psychokinetic shield which grants Zac incredible strength. But for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction… In central Australia, an ancient atrocity stirs under the weight of its primordial tomb, Uluru. Fissures have appeared in its prison thanks to secret British nuclear tests in the 1950s. Buried for over forty millennia, this obliterator of human life now has a new source of food – seven and a half billion of them! Can Zac come to terms with his new found powers in time to discover a way to defeat the impending Darkness?

Author: B.K.Webb
Publisher: Trojan Press
ISBN: 9780987278044
To Be Published: 2023
Format: Softcover

Read: Wattpad.com

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