Stuart Dawson has done it again! He has written a well-researched and in-depth article entitled "Ned Kelly's Last Words" for our edification and enjoyment. As usual, he has done extensive footnoting for the article.
Here is a copy of the email he has sent out to interested parties -
Hi, as you had some past interest or concern with Ned Kelly issues, you may be interested in a new journal article that rediscovers and reveals Ned Kelly’s actual last words.
Abstract: It has long been widely, even admiringly, held that Ned Kelly’s last words before execution were ‘Such is life’. This is a key part of a prevalent Kelly mythology that has been subject to little serious critique. Yet the attribution of the phrase ‘Such is life’ to Kelly is pure fiction. Analysis of the reportage of the day recovers Kelly’s actual last words, and explains how they were transmuted by one journalist into the catchy expression quoted as fact by many historians. It shows that the image of Kelly standing tall and defiant, saying ‘Such is life’ as the rope was placed around his neck, is nothing but a highly romanticised myth. In fact Kelly came to an ignominious, mumbling end on the scaffold, a far cry from popular legend.
The article can be downloaded by Googling “Eras Journal” to reach the latest issue (18.1, August 2016), or directly from this link:
Please pass this note on to others who may be interested in this topic.
You will remember that Stuart Dawson had previously written an article called "Redeeming Fitzpatrick: Ned Kelly and the Fitzpatrick Incident" for the Eras Journal last year that caused quite a stir in the Kelly world. I had reported on that here -
And here is the direct link to the Fitzpatrick article -
Let's hope that in the future Stuart uses his skills and talent to tackle other highly contested Kelly subjects. Whether you agree with any of his findings or not, you have to admit that anything that keeps Ned Kelly in the spotlight is a good thing.