And a Fifth

You gotta put him in! He is the stereotype of the Aussie bushman that says “stick it to ’em!”


In life, Ned Kelly was one man; in death, he became something altogether different. The Victorian bushranger grew up a troublemaker and stayed in trouble with the law until he was hanged at Melbourne jail on November 11, 1880, aged 25. On that day, he became a young statesman. “Popular instinct has found in Kelly a type of manliness much to be esteemed – to reiterate: courage, resolution, independence, sympathy with the underdog,” wrote Kelly historian Clive Turnbull. Kelly’s time suited the making of legends. Telegraph and cable were spreading, as was photography and the railway which carried reporters to Kelly country in north-eastern Victoria. Australia’s first-length feature film in 1906 was The Story of the Kelly Gang. Nearly a century later, Peter Carey’s book True History of the Kelly Gang was still reworking the legend.


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