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Mrs Kelly: The astonishing life of Ned Kelly's mother
Written by:
Grantlee Kieza 
Read by:
Deidre Rubenstein 
Unabridged CD Audio Book 
Number of CDs:
21 hours 52 minutes 
July 01 2021 
Available Date:
July 01 2021 
Age Category:
Non-fiction; Australian; Historical 
Bolinda audio 
Bolinda price
GBP£ 25.98
GBP£ 25.98

Bestselling author

Winner AudioFile Earphones Award 2021

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 bestselling 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.

'Masterfully narrated by Australian actress Deidre Rubenstein, this is a saga about a woman trying to raise 12 children in Australia during the mid-to-late-1800s. Mrs. Kelly, the mother of the famous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, has a hard life. When Ned becomes the leader of the violent Kelly Gang, Mrs. Kelly's life becomes even more difficult. When voicing Mrs. Kelly, Rubenstein shines the brightest, smoothly switching from her native Australian accent to Mrs. Kelly's Irish one. Utilizing intensity and pacing, she conveys Mrs. Kelly's emotions – from rage against corrupt police to tender motherly love. Rubenstein expertly portrays male characters, as well, switching between their various accents. Passages come alive for listeners because Rubenstein infuses her performance with skill, emotions, and energy.'