Black Snake, by Carole Wilkinson

Ned Kelly was only 25 years old when he died. Yet within his short life he came to prominence as a thief, a bank robber and murderer. In the one hundred and twenty two years since his death, he has been portrayed in books, films and in art. Why has he remained such a prominent figure in Australia’s history?

Black Snake: The Daring of Ned Kelly offers insight into the life of the outlaw and the chain of events which led to his hanging. In clear, easy to understand language, author Carole Wilkinson recounts Kelly’s life from birth to his final moments. She details his criminal activities and his life on the run, his family connections and his friendships, giving the reader a detailed idea of the man and his motives.

Each chapter opens with a fictionalised recount from one of the characters present at the various events in Ned’s life, and the text is supported by archival photographs, press clippings and quotes from correspondence and other documents.

This is not a glorification of a criminal career – it is instead a historical exploration of the man who was Ned Kelly, and an exploration of why he chose to lead the life he did. Wilkinson challenges the reader to make their own decision whther Kelly was a villain or a hero, a rebel or simply misunderstood.

Author Carole Wilkinson was born in England and came to Australia as a teenager. Writing about history is her passion. Her other titles include the Ramose series, set in Ancient Egypt.

Black Snake: The Daring of Ned Kelly, by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2002