The best ‘Kelly’ authors.


Ian Jones: Well, it’s a funny thing, I suppose in the end you feel you’ve met him. I mean if you speak about Ned, you soak up everything you can. You read everything you can. You read what he said, you read what he wrote with his mate, Joe Byrne (the Jerilderie Letter, which amounted to Ned Kelly’s manifesto and explanation of why the Kelly outbreak happened, including his family’s persecution by police). You talk to people who are a bit closer to it than you are. I mean I’ve only ever spoken to one person who I could be really convinced had met Ned Kelly.
Most importantly I’ve soaked up the places he knew, the places that meant so much to him, and that has been a very very important part of it, because that was so much a part of his life, and if you don’t understand the country you’ll never understand Ned or his story.
The sense of place is terribly important. I mean with some people, some subjects I imagine you could say, well, it’s purely antiquarian your interest, but with anyone as intimately involved with the land as Ned was, whose life was so much a part of it, it is terribly important.
You build up a mosaic, I mean a jigsaw mosaic of incredible complexity, and then gradually, sometimes you juggle the pieces if there’s a missing piece.
And then the pieces sometimes fall in themselves, and out of it you do get the person, and you get a surprising level of contact with the person through that prolonged process.
I’ve been getting to know Ned now for, oh, God, it’s 61 years. Now that’s a long time. Now I thought I knew a lot about Ned when I was about 15 when I’d been at it for about five years.
Well, I already had a lot under my belt, but the point is it wasn’t digested.
It hadn’t coalesced. It wasn’t in any sort of real shape. I just had a lot of information. I think there is a great difference between information and knowledge. (