The Alphabet Club - Saturday detention for "N" ....

is for 


and the 


Okay, so let me explain...

Ned Kelly is one of Australia's folk heroes, and in keeping with Australia's convict beginnings, he was actually a criminal and outlaw.

He has been ...
 memorialised by painters, writers, musicians and filmmakers alike. More books, songs and websites have been written about Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang than any other group of Australian historical figures.

You can read his life story here.

 He died at the gallows in Melbourne Gaol, on 11 November 1880, his famous last words were "Such is Life"

Death mask:
Ned Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on the morning of 11 November 1880. Immediately after his body was taken down from the gallows, his hair and beard were shaved off and a mould taken of his head by Maximilien Kreitmayer. The mask is a unique three-dimensional representation of one of Australia's better-known historical figures, created shortly after his death.
Death masks were common in Australia from the early 1800s. They were mostly of criminals, including convict absconders and bushrangers, and were used both for exhibition purposes and for phrenological analysis. The collection of 85 life and death masks displayed in JW Beattie's Port Arthur Museum included masks of executed criminals dating from 1826 to 1904. The Old Melbourne Gaol's collection of death masks numbers 36 and includes Frederick Bayley Deeming (suspected of being 'Jack the Ripper'), Frances Knorre ('the baby farmer') and James Williams who was hanged in 1904.
The mould of Ned Kelly's skull taken by Maximilien Kreitmayer was used to produce a desk mask that was on display in Kreitmayer's Bourke Street waxworks the day after Kelly's execution. Phrenologist AS Hamilton used the mask as source material for a detailed phrenological analysis of Kelly that was published in the (Melbourne) Herald of 18 November 1880. Hamilton had previously been declined permission to directly study Kelly's skull before he was executed. In part, he concluded '... there are few heads amongst the worst that would risk so much for the love of power as is evinced in the head of Kelly from his enormous self esteem'.

Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang – films

The actual armour as worn by Ned Kelly (Image is of a motion picture still, probably The story of the Kelly Gang), 1906.
Unknown, The actual armour as worn by Ned Kelly(Image is of a motion picture still, probably The Story of the Kelly Gang), 1906, negative. Image courtesy of the National Library of Australia: nla.pic-an24932346.
The Australian film industry produced what was probably the world's first full-length feature film in 1906. The film was the Tait Brothers' production The Story of the Kelly Gang . It was a success in both Australian and British theatres, and it was also the beginning of a genre of bushranger stories.
In November 2006 the National Film and Sound Archive released a new digital restoration of The Story of the Kelly Gang. This restoration incorporated 11 minutes of material discovered in the United Kingdom. Prior to this discovery, only a few minutes of footage was available. The Story of the Kelly Gang can be seen when visiting the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.
While the Australian public took a liking to bushranger stories, the New South Wales police department did not. The production of films about bushrangers was banned in 1912. The Kelly story, however, outlasted the ban and has been re-filmed a number of times since.
Other well known films about Ned Kelly include: Ned Kelly (1970) starring English rock singer Mick Jagger as Ned; the Trial of Ned Kelly (1977) starring John Waters and Gerard Kennedy; the 1980 mini-series The Last Outlaw starring John Jarratt, Steve Bisley and Sigrid Thornton; and the 2003 Gregor Jordan directedNed Kelly which starred Heath Ledger.

Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang – books and art

Sidney Nolan (1917-1922), Kelly and horse, 1946.
Sidney Nolan (1917-1992),Kelly and horse, 1946, enamel on composition board. Image courtesy of the Nolan Gallery.
The Australian author Peter Carey won the 2001 Booker Prize for his fictional novel True History of the Kelly Gang . Carey's inspiration, in part, came from the Sidney Nolan series of Kelly paintings, some of which can be seen at the Nolan Collection Gallery. The novel's first person narrative style was crafted from Ned's own 'Jerilderie Letter' – an account of the dramatic events leading to him being outlawed in the 1870s.
Carey's book is not the first to be written about Ned and the Kelly Gang. There are many other books including Ned Kelly: A Short Life (1995), Ned Kelly: The Authentic Illustrated History (1984 and reprinted in 2001), I am Ned Kelly (1980) and the Inner History of the Kelly Gang (1929), a very brave move on behalf of the author, J J Kenneally, considering that some of the people being discussed were still alive.
Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly series are probably the most well known of the art works about Ned Kelly. Many other artists, including Norman Lindsay, have also produced a variety of art works of this Australian bushranger.

 is one of the names for the Australian Outback.  
The saying goes that you Never Never want to go there (because it is so remote) but once you have been you Never Never want to leave!

I first heard this term when I read the Australian Classic, 
We of the Never Never by Mrs Aenas Gunn 
(as a child it always fascinated me that she used her husband's name as her writing name).

It is an autobiographical novel of her experiences as the first white woman in the Mataranka area on Elsey Station in the Northern Territory in 1902.

Of course, it is horribly NOT PC these days but when I was a child, it opened my eyes to the wonders of outback Australia - so different to my suburban life.

There was a film made of the novel in 1982.

At Mataranka, they recreated Elsey Station for the film.


You can read more about Mataranka by clicking here.

Okay, that is it for me for N - finally this post is done (I have been writing it for days now but other posts kept getting in the way - lol!).


P. S. Ooops, I forgot to tell you, if you want to see what the other detainees got up to, please click here.


Stitching Noni said…
Great post Kaye.... two perfect Aussie N's :o)
It is so true about the Never Never - growing up the the North West of WA was amazing... I miss living out in the red dirt of the Pilbara! It gets in your blood!
I remember the Mick Jagger movie.. no comment!
but I can't remember much about the Never Never book - I know I read it many moons ago - might have to try and read it again one day! :o)
Hugs xx
Brigitte said…
I have read about Ned Kelly after watching the movie starring Heath Ledger. He must have been a very interesting person, for some a criminal, for some a hero. But I haven't heard about the Never Never novel before. Living in the Outback back then must have been an adventure. And maybe it still is ...
A great N post, Kaye.
Ariadne said…
All these are so interesting. We know so very little about Australia here. AriadnefromGreece!
Tiffstitch said…
I had definitely heard of Ned Kelly, but I'm not sure if I was familiar with "never-never". Very interesting post!
Dear Kaye, it's an interesting post. Not which I did not understand :-)
I regret that I do not speak English: - ((((
Bea said…
Most interesting Kaye. I had heard of Ned Kelly but didn't know a lot about him. Hearing the Outback referred to as the Never-Never is something new. Thanks!
Great alphabet post. Ned Kelly is well-known but I'd not heard of the book before.
I've still got to do the Hallowe'en post for N.
Melinda Forbes said…
This was so interesting. SO true how our outlaws become heroes, we have so many in the US. Never knew Mick was an actor.. Thank you for sharing
Margaret said…
I love Peter Carey -- and of course, read his novel about Ned Kelley. Saw the latest (I think?) Ned Kelley film too -- was it Heath Ledger in it?? Can't remember. Anyway, fascinating stuff!
Julie said…
Very interesting reading. A great N post.

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