True History of the Kelly Gang

A Novel

Publisher: Vintage Canada
The international bestseller and winner of the 2001 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book.

Out of 19th century Australia rides a hero of his people and a man for all nations: Ned Kelly, the son of poor Irish immigrants, viewed by the authorities as a thief (especially of horses) and, as a cold-blooded killer. To the people, though, he was a patriot hounded unfairly by rich English landlords and their stooges. In the end, Kelly and his so-called gang (his younger brother and two friends) led a massive police manhunt on a wild goose chase that lasted twenty months, in which Ned’s talents as a bushman were augmented by bank robberies and the support of nearly everyone not in a uniform. His one demand – for which he would have surrendered himself was his jailed mother’s freedom.

Executed by hanging more than a century ago, speaking as if from the grave, Kelly still resonates as the most potent legend in the land down under.


Parcel 1

His Life Until the Age of 12

National Bank letterhead. Almost certainly taken from the Euroa Branch ofthe National Bank in December 1878. There are 45 sheets of medium stock (8" 3 10" approx.) with stabholes near the top where at one time they werecrudely bound. Heavily soiled.

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The introduction, discussion questions, author biography, and suggested reading list that follow are designed to enhance your group's reading of Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang. We hope they will provide you with new ways of thinking and talking about a novel that vividly recreates the life of Australia...
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“In a spectacular feat of literary ventriloquism, the Australian-born novelist Peter Carey … summons the rollicking, unschooled, hugely colorful voice of Australia’s best-known underdog for a bravura book-length performance.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“As exciting as any classic western… a thrilling novel that touches on big themes without sacrificing narrative momentum. It’s also a highly compelling portrait of a man who believed that his actions were true to himself, if not to the letter of the law.” —The Globe and Mail