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Ned Kelly: The Story of Australia's Most Notorious Legend [Abridged, Audiobook, Box set, Illustrated, Large Print] [Hardcover]

Peter FitzSimons

Price: 36.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

14 May 2014
Love him or loathe him, Ned Kelly has been at the heart of Australian culture and identity since he and his gang were tracked down in bushland by the Victorian police and came out fighting, dressed in bulletproof iron armour made from farmers ploughs. From Kelly s early days in Beveridge, Victoria, in the mid-1800s, to the Felons Apprehension Act, which made it possible for anyone to shoot the Kelly gang, to Ned s appearance in his now-famous armour, prompting the shocked and bewildered police to exclaim He is the devil! and He is the bunyip! ,

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  26 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fitzsimons falls short 12 Nov 2013
By Owen and Olwyn Goods - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For anyone unaware of the controversies and uncertainties about the historical truths of the life of Ned Kelly, this book will be an enjoyable read, as the story is well told and the details and embellishments do indeed liven it up. However, the story of Ned Kelly has been told many many times, almost universally in sympathetic terms, so one immediately has to ask, why another one? What new angle is he going to adopt? I read Fitzsimons book "Eureka" and found it enthralling. He set the story in the widest possible context of Victorian pioneering and political and social life in the mid 19th century and so I was hoping he would do the same for the Kelly story. My hopes were raised further by pre-publication advertising for the book, claiming Fitzsimons would be "weighing in on all the myths legends and controversies generated by this compelling and divisive Australian Rebel"

In fact the book does nothing of the sort. It is unfortunately just another sympathetic and very long recounting of the same old stories everyone already knows, with a noticeable absence of any discussion of any number of the critical "myths legends and controversies": and almost nothing that is new other than Fitzsimons own embellishments designed to "bring the story to life'. For example he doesn't mention or comment on the allegations of the kellys that Constable Fitzpatrick groped Ellens 14 year old daughter Kate, the supposed trigger for the entire "outbreak"; the uncertainties about George King and his fate are not mentioned, the forensic evidence relating to the numbers of wounds and bullets in the bodies of the dead policemen at Stringybark Creek isnt discussed, there is almost no mention of the entire "Republic" conspiracy so beloved of Fitzsimons mentor Ian Jones, and so on. It would appear that the author was trying not to offend anyone on either side of the ongoing debate about Kellys legacy - good or bad - and inevitably has produced something which neither offends nor excites. The "elephant in the room" in my opinion is his failure to read and list among the 60 or so books in his bibliography, arguably the most important and original work on the subject in the last twenty years, Ian MacFarlanes "The Kelly Gang Unmasked". Fitzsimons has said that the reason he didnt read The Kelly Gang Unmasked was because Ian Jones "hated it".This failure reduces the books authority, emasculates the story somewhat, and relegates Fitzsimons book to "just another sympathetic Kelly story" In my view its not good enough to displace Ian Jones "Ned kelly : a short life" from the top of the pro-kelly reading list.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 19 Jan 2014
By Jeff Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The English class system has a lot to answer for. By design it pitted working class (the Police) against the remainder of the the working class ensuring that all concerned are just pawns in their greater game. Parallels can be seen today where corporations use working class to do their dirty work - using workers to act without conscious against those of the same ilk. The more I read of Peter FitzSimons work the more I see we are still just miners and selectors versus the squatters.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 30 Jan 2014
By RUSSELL VESSEY - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Found it hard to put down. Interesting subject, well written and found out much more about Ned Kelly than I knew before.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 July 2014
By Barry Buckley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
at long last a well researched and well written account of Ned Kelly.
5.0 out of 5 stars greta - kelly country 28 Jun 2014
By Andrew - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
stringy bark creek - . one of the best Australian stories I have ever read and I thought I knew a bit about the kelly's - how wrong was I !
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