Grantlee Kieza Mrs Kelly

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Grantlee Kieza   Mrs Kelly
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Avid Reader Bookshop and Cafe says
This is a free event, but please RSVP at the ticket link above.

Join Grantlee Kieza for the launch of Mrs Kelly: The astonishing life of Ned Kelly's mother.

While we know much about the iconic outlaw Ned Kelly, his mother Ellen Kelly has been largely overlooked by Australian writers and historians - until now, with this vivid and compelling portrait.

When Ellen Kelly arrived in Melbourne in 1841 aged nine British convict ships were still dumping their unhappy cargo in what was then known as the colony of New South Wales. By the time she died aged ninety-one in 1923, having outlived seven of her twelve children, motor cars plied the highway near her bush home north of Melbourne and Australia was a modern, sovereign nation.

Like so many pioneering women, Ellen, the wife of a convict, led a life of great hardship. Born in Ireland during a time of entrenched poverty and sectarian violence, she was a mother of seven when her husband died after months in a police lock-up. She lived through famine and drought, watched her babies die, listened through the prison wall while her eldest son was hanged and saw the charred remains of another of her children who'd died in a shoot-out with police. One son became Australia's most infamous (and ultimately most celebrated) outlaw; another became a highly decorated policeman, an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and a worldwide star on the rodeo circuit. Through it all, 'the notorious Mrs Kelly', as she was dubbed by Victoria's Assistant Police Commissioner, survived as best she could, like so many pioneering women of the time.

Mrs Kelly is the astonishing story of one of Australia's most notorious women and her wild family, but it's also the story of the making of Australia, from struggling colony and backwater to modern nation.

Grantlee Kieza is a prizewinning writer for The Courier-Mail and Sunday Mail newspapers in Brisbane. He has previously written for Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, The Australian and The Sun-Herald, covering assignments as diverse as adventure races in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, anti-apartheid activism in Soweto and boxing matches everywhere from Melbourne, Mexico, Manchester and Manhattan - and many other places that don’t start with M. He was a finalist in the 2011 Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism. Mrs Kelly is his twelfth book.
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By: Avid Reader Bookshop and Cafe