| On publication of True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey compiled a series of archival photographs that were pivotal in his imagining of the characters and the moments of the novel. When you see the audio icon beside a photo, click on the photo to hear Carey discuss what you see before you on the screen. To proceed, click on the image of young Ned Kelly directly to the right of this text. |
You will need to have the free Real Player Basic to listen.
|Also, you may link from here to the Australian Library's website dedicated to the Jerilderie Letter, a long letter written by Ned Kelly from the heat of the struggle of the Gang against law enforcement. In the letter, Ned Kelly lays out his argument for why he and his mates are in the situation they've found themselves, and he attempts to demonstrate the injustices of the Australian law enforcement system. Carey played a pivotal role in making the letter available to the general public. The first-person voice of Ned Kelly that stiches the novel together so richly is based on the the very writerly, lyrical voice of the "true" Ned Kelly of the Jerilderie letter, outlaw, and as Carey would maintain, unsung poet. |
"Kelly left his voice for us in his Jerilderie Letter. These 120 year old
pages contain his DNA, and for a writer it is a thrilling moment, when you
realise you can raise your character from the dead and finally have him
speak a more complicated truth than our easy understanding has allowed..."
The letter begins:
I wish to acquaint you with some of the occurrences of the present past and future. In or
about the spring of 1870 the ground was very soft a hawker named Mr Gould got his waggon
bogged between Greta and my mother's house on the eleven mile creek, the ground was that
rotten it would bog a duck in places so Mr. Gould had abandon his waggon for fear of loosing
his horses in the spewy ground. he was stopping at my Mother's awaiting finer or dryer
weather Mr. McCormack and his wife. hawkers also were camped in Greta the mosquitoes
were very bad which they generally are in a wet spring and to help them..."
The entire Jeriderie letter as presented by the State Library of Victoria.