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  • Mrs Kelly

  • The Astonishing Life of Ned Kelly's Mother
  • By: Grantlee Kieza
  • Narrated by: Deidre Rubenstein
  • Length: 21 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

When Ned Kelly's mother, Ellen, 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 91 in 1923, having outlived seven of her 12 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.

By best-selling biographer Grantlee Kieza, 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.

©2017 Grantlee Kieza (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about Mrs Kelly

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting and annoying

The book is fine. It’s got interesting information. BUT! what the heck is with the narrator yelling at you all the time?!?! It wasn’t just annoying, it made the whole thing almost ridiculous! There are times where you will be chilled just taking in the information and suddenly the narrator starts shouting and in one classic moment actually screams at you...legitimately screams... I love a bit a drama...but damn!! I actually found myself cringing while waiting for her to shout at me again... The book is fine, the book is good! I seriously recommend you watch the volume on your headphones though when she gets “dramatic” it’s loud and over the top!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ned
  • 07-05-2019

Not actually about Ellen

Though admittedly, Ned was an incredibly large part of Ellen's life, this book only dedicates the first and last couple hours to her. Ad with every other book it is about Ned. A good read in its own right though, it tackles Ned story with him as a villain rather than a hero.

1 person found this helpful

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Great work

Would you consider the audio edition of Mrs Kelly to be better than the print version?

The same

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mrs Kelly - tough and resilient

What about Deidre Rubenstein’s performance did you like?

A great actress

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me very sad at the end

Any additional comments?

Excellent story and performance all round

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.