Ned Kelly's Jerilderie Letter
Illustrated primary source | 64 pp | Years Years 2–4
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Learning for life
There can be many different perspectives of the same event, depending on the beliefs and values you hold, and the role you played.
More than 125 years after his death, Ned Kelly remains one of this country's most controversial characters. Despite having a record reward on his head and being executed for robbery and murder, the debate about whether he was a hero or a hoodlum continues, millions of words are written about his life, and tourists flock to that area of Victoria known as 'Kelly Country'.
During one of his notorious bank robberies - this time the Bank of New South Wales in Jerilderie - Kelly dictated a 56-page letter which was transcribed by gang member Joe Byrne, in which he explained his grievances, made demands and supplied a defence for his behaviour.
Although the original letter was a 'raving, rambling rant', in Ned Kelly's Jerilderie Letter, editor Carole Wilkinson has simplified the contents - putting the events into chronological order, deleting the repetition and ramblings, and tightening the grammar, spelling and punctuation.
There are now hundreds of books and websites about the deeds of Ned Kelly, but this book allows the reader access to Kelly's perspective and an insight into his thinking and feelings. It is an opportunity to hear the other side of the story and develop a more informed opinion of the motives and deeds of the Kelly Gang.
Carole Wilkinson was born in England, immigrated to Australia as a teenager and now lives in inner-city Melbourne. After trying a number of jobs, she ended up as a laboratory technician working mainly with blood and brains. Fifteen years later, she started writing and finds the process of researching her books fascinating, sometimes having to force herself to stop the research so that she can start writing. It is this attention to detail that gives her stories a realistic quality.
Carole has won several awards and published a number of books, and she has written scripts for both television and planetariums.
You can find out more about her at her website www.carolewilkinson.com.au
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