Kate Kelly: The True Story of Ned Kelly's Little Sister

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 422 pages
Author: R. Wilson
Year: 2021
ISBN: 9781760879679
Other: b&w & colour photos, map, bibliog
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Kate Kelly, the daring sister of legendary bushranger New Kelly, was mysteriously found dead in a lagoon outside the New South Wales town of Forbes in 1898.

At the inquest, Kate's husband Bricky Foster claimed she was addicted to drink and frequently spoke of suicide. However. a neighbour testified that she had only known Kate to drink since the recent birth of her baby and that she never spoke of suicide. Was it suicide, accident or muder, and why had she changed her name to Ada?

While only a teenager, Kate rode as a messenger and decoy for the Kelly Gang, and was present at the gruesome Glenrowan siege. After Ned's execution, she appeared at public gatherings around Australia. Huge crowds came to see her talk and ride, and she hoped to popularise the Ned Kelly story as a celebrity in her own right. Then she disappeared from the public eye. 

Rebecca Wilson is the first to uncover the full story of Kate Kelly's tumultuous life. It will surprise anyone who thought they already knew the story of Australia's most famous outlaw.


Part 1. The Disappearance of Kate Kelly
1. Finding Kate
2. The Absent Husband
3. A Glimpse of Kate's Childhood
4. An Invitation to New South Wales
5. Cadow Station
6. Bricky and Kate
7. Breaking in Horses
8. Married Life
9. The Bohemian's Travelling Show
10. Visiting Kate
11. Going to the Lagoon
12. The Investigation

Part 2. Kate's Tumultuous Life in Victoria
13. Kate and the Kelly Gang, 1878
14. Kate and the Kelly Gang, 1878-79
15. Kate and the Kelly Gang, 1880
16. The Glenrowan Siege, 26-28 June 1880
17. Ned's Court Case, Beechworth and Melbourne, 1880
18. Fight for Ned's Life, November 1880
19. The Hanging of Ned Kelly
20. Kate and Jim's Travelling Shows
21. Life After Adelaide
22. The Disastrous Fitzpatrick

Part 3. Remembering Kate
23. After Kate's Death
24. Kate's Funeral
25. News of Kate
26. Jim Arrives in Forbes
27. Bricky Alone
28. The Gun
29. Memories of Kate
30. Kate's Lament

Author's Note
Selected Bibliography
Illustration Sources

'Rarely told in full, this is the fascinating life of one of the great characters in one of our greatest stories' - Paul Terry, author of ''The True Story of Ned Kelly's Last Stand

'Thoroughly recommend not only to those who have an interest in bushranging and the Kelly dynasty, but anyone who enjoys a well-written and riveting yarn, based on fact.'' - Rob Willis OAM, National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collections

1 Review
  • Kate Kelly the true Story of Ned Kellys little Sister

    Posted by Cheryl Crighton on 2nd Jun 2021

    Absolutely brilliant read. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Kate Kelly: The True Story of Ned Kelly's Little Sister

MSRP: $34.95
You save $6.95
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