Book Review: Glenrowan by Aidan Phelan

Self-published author Aidan Phelan says of his first work, the historical novel “Glenrowan” that it 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 Gettysburg or Waterloo’.

Actually, most Australians know almost nothing about Glenrowan, and anyone who did, and also knew something about Gettysburg or Waterloo would laugh at the comparison : Gettysburg was the place where an army wanting to defend the right of landowners to keep slaves was defeated by the army of Abraham Lincoln in a battle that cost tens of thousands of lives. Lincolns famed address was delivered there a few months later when a national military cemetery was dedicated to the memory of the dead. Glenrowan, on the other hand, was where the careers of a gang of four bank robbers and murderers came to an end.  It was certainly a dramatic and unprecedented event in the annals of colonial criminality but it wasn’t a turning point in colonial history or an event that’s celebrated nationally or remembered by anyone other than local tourist promotors and Kelly devotees of various colours. The idea that what happened at Glenrowan was in any way comparable to the momentous events at Gettysburg is absurd.

In fact, this historical novel was better than the impression created by the hyperbolic blurb suggested it was going to be.  Many Kelly devotees harbour thoughts of writing a book but very few manage it, no doubt at least in part because of the struggle that Phelan wrote about, the struggle to get such a work finished and then to get it published and distributed. It was clearly a massive effort and I congratulate Aidan Phelan on completing his first novel – its a significant achievement. Phelan is also a talented artist, and his illustrations are terrific – the one at the start of Chapter Nine ‘Besieged’ should become a classic!Oddly enough though, instead of making the case for Glenrowan being Australia’s Gettysburg, the story told in this novel fully affirms that this comparison was indeed badly misplaced. In his determination to portray ‘these historical figures as human beings with passions, beliefs faults and vices’ Phelan has rendered the central characters of the Kelly legend to be all too human. It surprises me therefore that Kelly sympathisers who claim to have read ‘Glenrowan’ are giving it the thumbs up, because Phelans story is not about heroism or a clear eyed visionary or a battle about noble ideals. The romantic legend of a band of brothers united by a common vision is replaced by a portrait of a conflicted, divided and desperate gang, squabbling and fighting amongst themselves, seeking escape in fornication, drugs and alcohol, lacking in vision and only united by fear and confusion. Their inconsistent and resentful submission to the whims and demands of an emotionally unpredictable Ned Kelly are unexplained. Phelans outbreak is devoid of anything like the central Kelly Republic myth, that modern Kelly sympathisers all cling to hopefully, I cant recall any reference to Irish causes or any other unifying goal, and Kelly is portrayed as unstable, confused and a bully. 

So what was Kellys obsession?

“Ned stood and paced around the fire, “The comet – the visions – they were telling me that this is the path I must go down. The police are my natural enemies. They chose to bully and persecute those I care for. Now they’ll reap what they’ve sown”

So it would seem that Kellys obsession was the police and in getting revenge – in other words, what everyone believed was the case until Ian Jones came along! The vision, according to Phelans narrative was drug induced. And Halleys Comet that Ned saw streaking across the sky ? –  it was visible in 1833 and not again until 1908, not streaking across the sky but as a tiny smudge whose position changed slightly, night by night over several weeks. A minor detail.  

 

Phelan seems to have taken great care to make his narrative as true to the historical record as possible, but he also seemed to want to include every known fact, with the result that the book is excessively long at around 170,000 words. In turn I think this led to a weighed-down over detailed narrative that often lacked pace and drama, often instead reading more like a script for a movie, with lists and detailed descriptions of what things looked like, what people were wearing and what they were doing. The descriptions of the siege itself, and much more were lacking not so much in the ‘what’ of events but in the ‘why’? Given that the Gang members were portrayed as so friendly with the hostages but so conflicted, so confused and so drunk I kept wondering what the hell was stopping the hostages from simply overpowering them or just walking out? The reality is there must have been an incredibly menacing climate of fear and intimidation at the Inn – but that isn’t something thats readily conveyed by facts and lists and detailed dry descriptions, or even by simply announcing that someone was in tears. Therein lies the novelists true art.

 

Because the narrative starts three quarters of the way through the outbreak – so the extensive criminal past of the Kellys can be conveniently ignored? – I think there needed to have been an attempt to explain the ‘why’ of the entire thing, of where Kellys vision that the police were his natural enemies came from, of why the need for such extreme revenge existed in the first place. Kelly devotees will have their own answers but would an uninitiated reader not wonder where all that obsessional hostility came from?  Actually, I felt the whole narrative lacked focus, by attempting to make it a story about everyone and everything that happened, even though it was supposed to be about one man’s obsession.

 

 

What this book needed more than anything else, I believe, was an Editor, but being self-published, Phelan had to be his own editor. An independent editor might have suggested making the book a lot shorter by being more intensely focused on Ned Kelly, might have spotted a few of the typos I saw, spotted the missing header on each page of chapter five, asked if Ned had really ‘interred the horse’ after riding it to the police stables (p185) and seriously questioned the need for so many explicit sex scenes. I am not sure why Phelan found a place in the book for almost every euphemism for ‘penis’, but if as his partner claimed when she also included x-rated material in her writing it was in order to portray things as they really are, I wonder why nobody was ever reported as farting or having a period or wiping their arse? The graphic sex mostly seems out of place.

 

Ironically, even though this books appeal will be mostly to Kelly devotees, the story it tells is not the one they will want to read. They want to read about a hero and visionary and a leader, the ‘unbeatified saint’ of Ian Jones fantasy. Instead what they get is a disturbed and disturbing story of a violent unpredictable human being with ‘passions, beliefs, faults and vices’. And I am not giving anything away by saying it doesn’t end well!

 

What seems odd to me is that if I suggest these things I am vilified by the Kelly mob, but if Phelan writes an entire novel about it, he isn’t. Perhaps its because when I say it readers know I believe it to be true, but when Phelan says it, sympathisers think its just fiction and can be ignored. But don’t they know he is trying to tell them this is what really happened? If everyone in Australia read this book and believed it, the legend would be over!

 

 

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31 Replies to “Book Review: Glenrowan by Aidan Phelan”

  1. Aiden Phelan has a great interview with Ben Head, director of the brilliant and powerful film “Stringybark”, on his Australian Bushrangers site here https://aguidetoaustralianbushranging.com/2020/08/28/theres-a-lot-to-reflect-on-if-we-can-get-past-the-mythology-ben-head-discusses-stringybark-exclusive/

    He also has his own review of “Stringybark”,
    https://aguidetoaustralianbushranging.com/2020/08/27/stringybark-review/

    Stringbark is now available on Ozflix

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    1. I hope to watch that movie on OZFLIX one of these days and post my thoughts in the not too distant future. But the Interview with Ben Head and his Dad was terrific. Ben is certainly not one of the suckers who swallowed the Jones mythology!

      Regarding Aidans novel, I havent seen anyone else posting a review of it yet, and the Sympathisers are going to try not to let on that theyve all been reading mine. They love to pretend they’re ignoring me but cant.! But if you get to read the Novel, would be interested in your comments. The novel is Phelans vision of how he thinks it all went down, and mostly I am inclined to agree with him. Of course theres a whole lot more to the Outbreak than whats covered in this novel, but this one thankfully hasn’t reinforced the dumb Republic myth, meaning that in time if this novel has any impact one hopes the Kelly story will drop the republic nonsense and revert to the truth that was accepted before Jones decided to turn the killer into a saint.

      Its definitely being wound back, slowly but surely.

  2. Stringybark can be seen here. https://www.ozflix.tv/#!/browse/film/55462/stringybark
    Under $6 for 14 days rental.
    I enjoyed it, although I thought there were a few errors, but in the total context rather minor.

  3. Most novels now have a sample chapter online so you can get an idea of what you’re looking at . $40 is a lot to pay for a novel with no idea what you’re getting . Has anyone seen one ?

    1. Rochelle if you go to the website for the novel https://glenrowanthenovel.com there might be something from the novel there. I remember reading what I thought was a chapter from the book about George King – with the usual sex references this guy is fond of making – but come to think of it ( pun unintended !) I dont remember reading that chapter in the book. But it might give you an idea of the style?

  4. Thank you but it is not my style – https://glenrowanthenovel.com/2020/08/03/the-californian/
    Dan was up early to get cracking on mending the paddock fence. He had slept less than usual, having been kept awake by the amorous activity from his mother’s bed.
    George King emerged from the house. He swaggered to a bush on the edge of the fence and flopped out his penis. It was an awful red veiny thing but he seemed proud of it from his smirk as he began to urinate on the bush. Dan did his best to avoid looking.
    “It’s just a cock, boy, don’t be frightened,” George said.
    “Seems to me it gets aired out plenty,” Dan said.
    “Oh, you heard that, huh? Well, I can’t say I blame you for being touchy. I’d be mad at whoever was screwing my ma, if I ever found out who he was,” George replied as he shook off the last few drops of urine from his member and tucked it away. As he walked past Dan he clapped a hand on the boy’s shoulder. “I’ll try and be quieter next time, alright,” George winked.

    1. Oh God that’s gross. I’m sorry I didn’t go back to read that piece before suggesting you take a look. It’s disgusting gratuitous vulgarity so maybe on reflection he decided it was too much for the novel.

      What is it with this guy and his partner who seem to think explicit descriptions of sex acts are clever and original?

    2. Alf was a bit aghast by the book’s discussion of George King’s veiny tool. Gross. Way too much info!

      Horrie and Alf

  5. Sharon Hollingsworth says: Reply

    I finally got my copy of the book sent to me by a good friend down under (was sent before the e-book came out). It only took a week to arrive from down under. Is going to be interesting going through it and seeing if any of the 12 printed out pages of notes and suggestions I sent to Aidan (after being allowed to preview an early draft) were used. I was promised a final draft but that did not happen for some reason. Oh, geez, was it something I said? lol Let’s see what I can say going forward. Stay tuned!

    1. TWELVE printed out pages? WOW thats a lot of material Sharon! I am definitely staying tuned. If you post a review to your Blog let us know back here OK?

  6. Sharon Hollingsworth says: Reply

    That part you mentioned in the blog post about Halley’s comet was absolutely NOT, I repeat NOT in the early draft I saw!!! I surely would have mentioned something to him about it as I know a small bit about Halley’s Comet (especially that it was really bright in the sky in 1910 in the USA as there was a “Time Tunnel” episode about it that I remembered from my childhood that made me dig further), enough to know that it was not in the sky back in Ned’s time. I do recall something about a Great Southern Comet from Trove articles of the era when I was researching Mr. Ellery and his electric light which could have maybe been seen by them but not Halleys. Hmmm….too bad I did not get to see a later draft. I will slowly work my way through and compare my notes and see how I go.

    1. I bet you also know a fair bit about Gettysburg!

  7. Ned's Neighbours says: Reply

    Another fact filled book about the world’s grubbiest outlaw.
    Here are some facts it left out:
    Did you know that Ned had tenosynovitis after he got shot between the toes at Glenrowan?
    Did you know that Ned had chronic halitosis and had to mask his breath with snuff and peppermints before any woman would kiss him?
    Did you know that Ned had a small member that was dwarfed by George King’s and that’s why they say he never grew to manhood?
    According to Freud’s theory of penis envy if Ned thought he was sexually inadequate – as he was (according to his brother Jim in Kenneally’s book, he never had a girl) – he may also have identified as a girl before puberty, hence his exaggerated hyper-masculine swaggering.
    Ned – with hindsight he looks more stupid every year.

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  8. Thats the thing about historical fiction : as long as it doesnt directly contradict KNOWN facts you can make up whatever you want! Aidan Phelan described Georges penis in nauseating detail, talked about Joes ‘pendulous genitals’ and described Ettie Hart freeing Neds “manhood'” and something I thought was completely absurd : Ned feeling guilty about having sex before marriage! ( But no qualms about bashing people, lying and stealing and killing them!!) What would Freud have said of that I wonder – his only moral dilemnas were to do with sex!

  9. “I think this led to a weighed-down over detailed narrative that often lacked pace and drama, often instead reading more like a script for a movie, with lists and detailed descriptions of what things looked like, what people were wearing and what they were doing.” Sorry — but no movie script worth it’s salt gets bogged down in detailed descriptions of any kind. That’s not how movie scripts work, and shows you’ve never read one. Any script getting bogged down in descriptions is written by an amateur. This is where novels differ greatly to film scripts, and detailed descriptions are what novels offer as part of their ‘world-building’. Tolkien was HUGE on detailed descriptions – are you going to criticise him for that too? Nobody alive today was around in 1880, and life was very different then compared to now. Details are important to define those differences for a reader, cementing them in the world. Especially for those readers who know very little of what life was like in 1880 Australia. I think Aidan’s book is a masterwork – especially for a first-time writer – and I can’t wait to adapt it into a mini-series.

    1. Thanks Matthew. Yes, Ive only ever read one script so what is the document that describes where the actors walk and act, what they are wearing, what else is in the room and all that?

      I am sure everyone would like to see you turn this into a miniseries, but I think the majority of Kelly sympathisers would be shocked if you made it as Aidan has written, depicting such a gang barely functioning becasue of confusion, dysfunction, and intoxication and in the absence of Ian Jones imaginary Kelly Republic, quite aimless violence. And would you include all the detail he provided in several explicit sex scenes?

      1. Matthew says ” no movie script worth it’s salt gets bogged down in detailed descriptions of any kind. That’s not how movie scripts work, and shows you’ve never read one. Any script getting bogged down in descriptions is written by an amateur.” What arrogant nonsense.

        Here is the script for “LET ME IN” (2010) http://www.horrorlair.com/scripts/LET-ME-IN.pdf
        Lengthy detailed descriptions to show the writer’s vision.
        14 awards and 28 nominationshttps://www.imdb.com/title/tt1228987/awards?ref_=tt_awd

        Here is the script for “JANE EYRE” (2011) http://academy.filminfocus.com/scripts/jane_eyre_screenplay.pdf
        Very lengthy detailed descriptions to show the writer’s vision.
        Oscar nomination, 10 awards, 15 nominations https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1229822/awards?ref_=tt_awd

        Lots of scripts give detailed descriptions to show what is going to happen. Matthew needs to look at more scripts instead of pretending he knows everything. because he made one movie.

        1. Rocky – you have no idea what you’re talking about – and you have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve written over a dozen screenplays and read over five times that screenplays in my time, plus taken courses on screen-writing and read a dozen books on the process of screenwriting. This is my trade, so I do know a thing or two about filmmaking. How many scripts have you written, Rocky? How many have you read?

          David’s criticism was that the novel contained over-lengthy descriptions that ‘reads more like a more films script’. I was merely pointing out that scripts do not get bogged down in overly long descriptions the way novels do. In a film script, pages and word count are a premium and only what needs to be said should be written. I am not saying that scripts do not have any description – they just don’t go into all the nitty-gritty details that a novel does, and EVERY screenwriting guru out there will back that up. Scripts are conservative with description, and if they do happen go in any great detail – its because that detail is vital to the story in some way. Scripts are generally 90-120 pages long with loads of spacing; novels are upwards of 300 pages and written in large chunks of texts. The two mediums are completely different.

          My point was – why is David saying this overly detailed novel reads more like film script? To me, that’s a contradiction.

          1. Matthew I know nothing about movie making but you do, I am very happy to acknowledge that, and as you know I wrote a review of your movie Ben Hall which I thought was terrific. My point was just that I wanted there to be a bit more pace and drama in the novel, given that Glenrowan and the Outbreak themselves were extremely dramatic and dynamic events. I knew there was talk about a mini-series and wondered if the book was somehow being written with a view to it being the basis for the mini series and so imagined in my ignorance that what was written resembled a script. Its not important and I dont think people need to start attacking one another over my use of the word script!!

            Somehow I imagine if you do get around to making this miniseries, on past performance the last thing it will lack is drama or pace .

          2. Matthew Holmes says:

            If more pace is what you wanted, then yeah – I can understand how you might’ve found the novel a slog at times. That’s why I’ve never read ‘Lord of the Rings’ – but I’ll happily watch the movies because they can, and should be – pacy and punchy. But I don’t think that’s a flaw in the writing of the novel – that’s just how Aidan wanted it to be, to get into the details and some readers really love that stuff. Others won’t. That’s the way of it.

            In truth, Aidan wrote the novel entirely independent of me or any script. When he delivered it – I was thrilled. There’s so much rich texture, detail and layers for the actors and crew to draw on that the scripts will not be able to go into.

            Should the mini-series go ahead, I’m certain it will be a punchy, pacy and dynamic series – as that’s certainly what audiences demand. And I think this series will help people to truly understand the Kelly story from a realistic perspective. I hope it strips away the fantasies and presents these characters as they were; not valiant heroes, not mindless psychopaths – but real, flawed humans with passions, needs and their own perspectives. I want to bring the same type of ‘balance’ I tried to deliver in my Ben Hall film. I’ll present the story as realistic as I can, to the best of my abilities; I’ll leave it up to viewer to decide the morality of the character’s actions.

          3. Ive tried to read Lord of the Rings several times and like you not managed to get very far at all! But the movies – quite part from Peter Jackson and being filmed in NZ – I loved!

        2. and by the way, Rocky – I just read through that JANE EYRE script you claimed was filled with detailed descriptions. It is no more detailed than any script I’ve ever read, or any that I’ve written myself. It only further proves my point that scripts are conservative with detail WHEN COMPARED WITH NOVELS.

          Aidan’s novel – like many novels – will go to great lengths describing scenes, people and environments that will last paragraphs and paragraphs per page. In contrast, that Jane Eyre script is tight and concise with it’s descriptions – just as it should be. So yeah – thanks for proving my point.

      2. There’s no document as such that describes those things – the various departments on a film crew will just figure that stuff out on their own in production discussions. Film is a visual medium, so scripts are light on detailed descriptions and just concentrate on dialogue and action. Or at least, they should be. In this case, we’d use the novel as a production guide for costume, sets and such – because it is so wonderfully vivid in its description.

        I think ‘Kelly sympathisers’ would really enjoy the mini-series, as they do the book. Most of those people are just fascinated by the history and the characters, as I am and as Aidan are. And to clarify: one can be fascinated by a historical character without agreeing with their actions. I love bushranger John Gilbert as a character. But does that mean I condone or agree with what he did or how he lived? Not at all.

        Speaking for Aidan and myself, we don’t approach this story with a sense of judgement one way or another; we don’t have an agenda to damn the Kelly Gang as psychopaths, nor do we have an agenda to paint them as valiant heroes. We’re just interested in the humanity (good and bad) of all these characters; the gang, the cops, the civilians. We’re interested in what really happened. So if the gang were barely functioning, intoxicated or violent – that’s fine with us, because THAT makes for great drama you can’t take your eyes off. And great drama is what a great mini-series requires. Characters that are flawed, troubled and struggling are interesting to watch and ultimately can teach us about ourselves.

        Sex scenes? Yeah, there’d probably be a few in the series, though to what detail we go into is unknown at this point. That will depend on what rating the streaming service requires. But sex is just part of human existence, it was part of these character’s lives and its nothing to get prudish about or offended by. If the story requires sex, nudity and graphic violence – so be it.

        1. Matthew as you say characters that are flawed troubled and struggling are fascinating to watch. I’ve always thought that the Saint Ned and the holy Kelly family as portrayed in the Last Outlaw did these characters a disservice. They are all much more complicated and interesting than that.

          ( As an aside, the beatification of Joseph Smith the founder of the Mormon religion is a similarly sterilising rendition of a fascinating ‘flawed troubled and struggling’ figure – read ‘No man knows my History’ by Fawn Brodie)

          But it surprises me that ‘sympathisers’ who claim to have read the novel like it so much – for certain if I or Morrissey or any other like person wrote about a gang of drunks fighting amongst themselves, barely knowing what they were there for and not mentioning secret meetings about a republic or a declaration – we would be branded ‘anti-Kelly’ and vilified and abused all over the Internet!

          How many ‘sympathisers’ who liked this book even noticed that Ned Kelly didnt have a secret meeting with the Sympathiser army and send them away?

          Aidans book is a kind of Trojan horse smuggling anti-Kelly ideas into the middle of the Sympathisers camp!

          1. Matthew Holmes says:

            I would agree that there has been an “over-simplification” of the Kelly Outbreak and a definite romanticism of the Kelly Gang in Australian pop-culture throughout the last 100 years, mostly thanks to books, films and such. Happens everywhere, so it doesn’t surprise me. Look at the USA, with how they romanticise characters like Jesse James and Billy the Kid into folk heroes, and even glorify people like Wyatt Earp, who was not also squeaky clean himself. People like to draw very clear lines of “good person’ and ‘bad person’ because they’re easier to understand that way; they’re easy to put in a box. ‘The Last Outlaw’ was definitely a romanticised re-telling, but I still give it some credit for at least attempting to tell the whole story. Of course it painted Ned in a mostly positive light because he was the ‘hero’ of the series and that’s what Channel 7 and Ian Jones (no doubt) wanted. And yeah – I don’t think it did the history a great service, but I still get why it’s so loved because people love watching this story – its a ripper yarn! Remember, that series is almost 40 years old and has to be viewed from that context too. We know more now that we did then.

            But I think audiences today are more able to embrace flawed, troubled characters on-screen, which makes it a perfect time to approach the Kelly story with a more balanced re-telling based on what facts we do have – because in the end, that’s all we can really know. The facts. And if the facts mean that the Kelly Gang were drunk and high during the siege – so be it.

            What I believe Aidan has been able to do with his novel is authentically present Ned Kelly’s personal perspective to the reader (ie. I’m a victim, I’m fighting for my family, I’m a persecuted man) WITHOUT taking on that perspective himself as the writer. And he does this with the police too. Which is why someone who is as anti-Ned Kelly worship as yourself AND an avid Ned Kelly sympathiser can both enjoy this book.

            That is the subtle genius of Aidan’s writing, and one we hope to carry over in the mini-series. The book is not telling you how to feel about Ned Kelly; it’s just showing Ned Kelly as he was (to the best of our knowledge) and allowing the reader to decide. One person will read it and think “this guy is a total prick” and another will think “I really understand and empathise with this guy”. And I think that’s the best way to write – with no agenda. As the writer, Aidan doesn’t care if you love Ned Kelly or hate him when you turn over the last page – all he cares about is that you found his story as fascinating as he does.

            I attempted this with with my Ben Hall film, and I think it worked for the most part. I’ve had people watch it and tell me “Hall got what he deserved, he was a total thug” and I’ve had others tell me how much wept because of how unfair it was that he was shot. And both reactions are fine by me. Because that means the characters and story are three-dimensional; means that you can keep viewing them from a different perspective and finding something new.

          2. Thanks Matthew, you make good points. I understand the desire to present the story without judgement and leave that up to the viewer. For one thing nobody likes being told what to think, or have to wonder if they’re really getting the whole story or just being fed a line.

            However I just wonder why, if one accepts there is such a thing as a bad person, the story of such a bad person cant convey that truth? I also wonder how truly neutral any story teller can really be, because in telling the story decisions have to be made about what parts of the story should be told and how they should be told and what has to be left out altogether, and thats where bias inevitably creeps in.

            But as you say its easier to paint a black and white picture than a subtle multicoloured one, but reality is never black and white. People constantly accuse me of having a one dimensional view of Kelly but thats not my position at all : Ive always accepted the shades of grey argument about him – and everyone else – its just that I believe he became an increasingly dark figure as time went on, and nothing about his behaviour in the outbreak qualifies him for hero status.

            Thanks.

  10. The former truck driver who runs the hate site is having a big sook about David’s ‘persecution’ of their daft beliefs. Bob hasn’t responded to criticism of his theory about McIntyre’s changing evidence – that noone has been able to prove – not even a former Chief Justice of Victoria. But Bob thought he could. Are you for real?

    Rebecca

    1. Ive been avoiding wasting my time looking at that site for a long time, because whenever I do all I read is the same repetitive vilification and lies posted by the same three or four dimwits directed at me so it doesnt surprise me to learn its continuing! Are they still going on about me having multiple personalities and being psychiatrically unwell? Its hard to believe that these people are grown men and not juveniles at the stage of development where they think calling people names is funny.

      All of them know they could post stuff to this Blog and if its wasn’t just more of that same garbage then it would be posted, as has happened by an anonymous earlier this week, an anonymous who may well be one of them. However, that anonymous hasn’t actually posted an argument or a defence or an explanation of anything, its just a veiled swipe at various authors and contributors which is about all the toad and his acolytes are capable of.

      I’ll just say what Ive been saying for years : people like them are not our target audience. Their minds are closed and all theyre interested in doing is attacking anyone who doesnt agree with them that the violent police killer was actually an admirable hero worthy of adulation and hero worship.

      No, our audience – and the numbers keep growing – are the many people who are curious and open minded about Australian history and are looking for honest answers. Posts Ive written years ago are still being read on a daily basis, which is the great thing about a Blog : Facebook posts and vilification disappears into cyberspace, so it doesnt really worry me what they post – it will be forgotten soon enough – but Blog posts and topics can always easily be found using the search button, they come up on Google searches and on Google image searches and readers can see for themselves we are not puerile fanatics and bullies but open minded seekers of historical truth. As a consequence my visitor numbers and participant numbers grow whereas the toad has the same four visitors this year as he did five years ago – Jack Bob Greg and himself!!. Theyre talking to themselves and impressing nobody. That suits my purposes down to the ground!

  11. There are quite a few Glenrowan books. We have only skimmed the list. But Mr Holmes favours a novel containing ‘subtle genius’. Go figure!

    Glenrowan – The Legend of Ned Kelly; by Ian W Shaw

    The True Story of Ned Kelly’s Last Stand: New Revelations Unearthed about the Bloody Siege at Glenrowan: by Paul Terry

    Ned Kelly: The Last Stand – by Ian Jones

    Horrie and Alf

  12. There are also many self-published Kelly books of which Jack Peterson’s is perhaps the most feeble.

    I haven’t read Glenrowan by Aidan, but dislike fiction and so am guided by David and film guru Matt as to its merits.

    Kenneally’s early book, if I’m not wrong, was self-published, and went through many editions.

    Cam West

  13. I’m thinking of making a film of the Jerilderie letter but more of a comedy in the Life of Brian style. Scripting by Ned himself with a few improvements by me and some Carey-type liberties with the facts. Who’s in?

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