Ned Kelly Fascination

My son has recently taken an interest in one of Australia’s most famous (or should that be infamous?) historical characters. Ned Kelly.

He spent a lot of time during our recent road trip asking me questions about the late 19th century outlaw/bushranger. Most of them I am unable to answer so I told him he would have to find a book at the library and read about Kelly for himself.

Where and how?

I am not really sure what sparked this sudden thirst for Ned Kelly knowledge. It may be that in many of the places we have visited they sell Ned Kelly memorabilia, usually images of him in that home-made suit of armour. That classic image of Kelly. It has certainly captured my boy’s attention.

What do I know?

My knowledge of Ned Kelly is minimal. Basically what most people know. He lived in the late 1800s had a small gang that included his younger brother and of course fought the law wearing that home made armour.

The only other thing I knew for sure about Kelly was that he was hanged by the neck in the Old Melbourne Gaol. I know this because I visited that gaol when I first came to Australia way back in the early 1990s.

Ah, and THAT movie…

Then of course whenever I think of Ned Kelly I instantly have this image of an old 1970 movie about the outlaw. Disastrously played by one Michael (aka Mick) Jagger in one of the worst acting performances I think I ever saw. Sorry Mick. You are a talented songwriter and excellent frontman for a great band – possibly even the best ever performer on stage. But acting? Nah. On the strength of that Ned Kelly performance it’s hard to believe anyone took him seriously afterwards. Yet I think he has recently appeared in a new movie.

It is hard to believe that shortly after recording the album Let it Bleed which features classics such as Gimme Shelter, Midnight Rambler and You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Jagger went and made that crap movie. Then shortly after making that movie he re-joined his band and made the classic Sticky Fingers album. Apologies, I am getting carried away with that dreadful acting and forgetting what this post is really about. This is not about Jagger this is about Kelly…

Ned Kelly for kids…

Surprisingly there were quite a few books on Ned Kelly in the kids’ section of the library – as well as a few more about bushrangers in general. Dani chose one and off we went. Now he can read up on his new found interest and tell me a thing or two about Mr. Ned Kelly.

Should I mention the Jagger movie? I see it is freely available online. Maybe I will keep that one to myself until he asks… As he will expect me to sit and watch it with him. Not sure I could suffer that torment…

Here is the Ned Kelly book that Dani is reading

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