Kate Kelly

Kate Kelly has always been overshadowed by her famous brother Ned, but the talented young woman was a popular public figure in her own right. This moving biography tells her astonishing story in full for the first time.

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

At the inquest, Kate’s husband Bricky Foster claimed that 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 murder, 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 helped 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.


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